pp 1–10 | Cite as

Emergency repair of complicated abdominal wall hernias: WSES guidelines

  • B. De SimoneEmail author
  • A. Birindelli
  • L. Ansaloni
  • M. Sartelli
  • F. Coccolini
  • S. Di Saverio
  • V. Annessi
  • F. Amico
  • F. Catena
Original Article



In July 2013, the World Society of Emergency Surgery (WSES) held the first Consensus Conference on emergency repair of abdominal wall hernias in adult patients with the intention of producing evidence-based guidelines to assist surgeons in the management of complicated abdominal wall hernias. Guidelines were updated in 2017 in keeping with varying clinical practice: benefits resulting from the increased use of biological prosthesis in the emergency setting were highlighted, as previously published in the World Journal of Emergency Surgery. This executive summary is intended to consolidate knowledge on the emergency management of complicated hernias by providing the broad readership with a practical and concise version of the original guidelines.


This executive manuscript summarizes the WSES guidelines reporting on the emergency management of complicated abdominal wall hernias; statements are highlighted focusing the readers’ attention on the main concepts presented in the original guidelines.


Emergency repair of complicated abdominal hernias remains one of the most common and challenging surgical emergencies worldwide. WSES aims to provide an essential version of the evidence-based guidelines focusing on the timing of intervention, laparoscopic approach, surgical repair following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wound classification, antimicrobial prophylaxis and anesthesia in the emergency setting.


Abdominal hernia Hernia repair Emergency surgery Incarcerated hernia Strangulated hernia Biological mesh 


Author contributions

FC conceived the study; AB wrote the first manuscript; BDS revised and summarized the original manuscript; all the authors approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interests for this paper.

Ethical approval

Approval from the institutional review board was not required for this study.

Human and animal rights

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

For this type of study, formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Operative Unit of General SurgeryAzienda USL IRCCS Reggio EmiliaReggio EmiliaItaly
  2. 2.General Surgery DepartmentLugano HospitalLuganoSwitzerland
  3. 3.Department of Emergency and Trauma SurgeryBufalini HospitalCesenaItaly
  4. 4.General Surgery DepartmentMacerata HospitalMacerataItaly
  5. 5.Department of SurgeryUniversity Addenbrooke HospitalCambridgeUK
  6. 6.Department of General and Emergency SurgeryJohn Hunter HospitalNew CastleAustralia
  7. 7.Emergency and Trauma Surgery DepartmentParma University HospitalParmaItaly

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