Although women of childbearing age represent approximately 16% of the patients undergoing ventral hernia repair, consensus lacks concerning management of ventral hernia in relation to pregnancy.
Aim and methods
The aim of the project is to investigate different aspects of ventral hernia and pregnancy, which need attention before treatment recommendations for ventral hernia in women of childbearing age can be made. By crosslinking different nationwide registries, including the Danish Hernia Database, National Patient Register and the Birth Registry, we are examining the impact of pregnancy on the risk of primary ventral hernia repair, ventral hernia recurrence and postoperative chronic pain. Further, we study mesh vs. suture for pre-pregnancy primary ventral hernia repair in terms of risk of recurrence and chronic pain
We found that pregnancy following ventral hernia repair was independently associated with ventral hernia recurrence. Further, our results show that primary ventral hernia during pregnancy seemed very rare and harmless. In contrast to the general population, we found no difference in the risk of recurrence for mesh vs. sutured repair for pre-pregnancy umbilical or epigastric hernia repair.
If possible, ventral hernia repair should be delayed until after last pregnancy in order to reduce the risk of recurrence. Future studies will examine the optimal surgical technique for pre-pregnancy ventral hernia repair.