Determinants of 90-day readmission following ventral hernia repair with and without myocutaneous flap reconstruction: a National Readmissions Database analysis



Readmission status is an important clinical component of healthcare outcomes. 90-day readmission following complex open ventral hernia repair has not been well studied with national level data. This study aims to compare readmission rates for patients undergoing standard vs. complex (myocutaneous flap-based) ventral hernia repair. We hypothesize that complexity of reconstruction will be an independent predictor of readmission after ventral hernia repair.


A retrospective cohort study was performed with 1:1 matching of hernia repair type using the National Readmissions Database. Patients were selected using ICD-9 codes corresponding to ventral hernia repair with or without myocutaneous flap. 90-day readmissions were determined on patients within the first through third quarters of each year. After matching, a multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed using confounding variables including hospital setting, comorbidities, type of repair, urgency of repair, sociodemographic status, and payer. Likelihood of 90-day readmission was calculated from odds ratios.


Readmission rates were 19.1% (38,313 out of 200,266) and 22.5% (692 out of 3075) at 90-day for standard ventral hernia repair and complex ventral hernia repair, respectively. 3116 standard ventral hernia repair patients were matched with 3074 complex ventral hernia repair patients. After matching there was a significantly increased readmission rate for repairs involving myocutaneous flaps, with odds ratio (OR) 1.30 (95% CI 1.22–1.60). Payer status (OR 1.82; 95% CI 1.21–2.74), teaching hospital status (OR 1.42; 95% CI 1.23–1.64) and income quartile (OR 1.35; CI 1.10–1.65) were independent predictors of readmission.


Patients undergoing myocutaneous flap-based reconstruction have higher readmission rates than those undergoing less complex ventral hernia repair. Socioeconomic disparity as reflected in payer status is a particularly strong predictor of readmission. The data support the concept that focused efforts are needed to optimize patient outcomes for patients requiring more complex repair, including socioeconomically disadvantaged patient populations.

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Correspondence to John D. Mellinger.

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Feimster, Ganai, Scaife and Mellinger have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Feimster, J.W., Ganai, S., Scaife, S. et al. Determinants of 90-day readmission following ventral hernia repair with and without myocutaneous flap reconstruction: a National Readmissions Database analysis. Surg Endosc 34, 4662–4668 (2020).

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  • Hernia readmission
  • Complex ventral hernias
  • National Readmissions Database