The Impact of Incisional Hernia Repair on the Quality of Life: A Narrative Review


Background: Incisional hernias represent a common complication following a midline incision, generating impairment, lower quality of life, and social costs. The aim of this narrative review is to determine in which manner risk factors – such as age, gender, postoperative complications, and even the overall health system – impact the satisfaction and expectations of the patients.

Methods: A literature search was performed through PubMed, Web of Science, and SpringerLink, addressing both international and national articles. Only full-text articles published in the last 12 years were chosen. Each individual positive or negative factor was then targeted.

Results: Statistically, the majority of patients were satisfied with the outcomes of the reparative surgery. Even so, complications can still occur, which are more likely to appear in the early postoperative stages. In most of these cases, the patients complained of strenuous movement, chronic pain, or recurrence, leaving the option of another surgical repair up to the patient’s wishes. On the one hand it seems that robotic-assisted surgery (RAS), absorbable sutures, suture fixation without tacks, and the male gender were associated with a better quality of life and less recurrence or other complications. On the other hand, lack of communication between patients and health personnel, chronic health diseases, and the female gender were linked to a tendency of developing more complications and therefore, a lower quality of life.

Conclusion: Statistically, in most of the cases, the patients were satisfied with the results. While it is safe to say that an incisional hernia repair increases the quality of life, there is still a small, but significant percentage of people that do not benefit from it as much as they expected. More awareness should be raised and the communication between patients and health personnel improved.


incisional hernia, postoperative hernia, incisional hernia repair, quality of life

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