Determining the risk of developing an incisional hernia

A new app can predict patients at risk of an incisional hernia

This new app, while potentially useful, underestimates the risk of developing an incisional hernia, as it calculates the probability of requiring an operation to correct an incisional hernia, and uses that as a surrogate marker for developing a hernia.  In many cases of incisional hernia, corrective surgery is not undertaken, so this app would ignore these patients in calculating the probability of incisional hernia development.  Another confounding factor is that it is possible that some patients had surgery to repair an incisional hernia at a location other than the facility at which they had their initial operation, and that the team developing the app were, therefore, not aware of these patients, who were then not included in their analyses.

In reality, the overall likelihood of developing an incisional hernia following abdominal surgery is in the order of 10 – 15%.  Whatever the probability of hernia development may be, restoration of the functional integrity of the abdominal wall should be undertaken wherever possible if the patient is a suitable candidate for surgery.  See our pages on hernia and hernia repair for more information, or call us to arrange an appointment to discuss hernia repair strategies.

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