Predictors of wound infection in ventral hernia repair

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Female; Follow-Up Studies; Hernia, Ventral; Hospitals, Veterans; Humans; Incidence; Male; Middle Aged; Prognosis; Recurrence; Retrospective Studies; Risk Factors; Smoking; Smoking Cessation; Surgical Wound Infection; Treatment Outcome; United States; United States Department of Veterans Affairs


Bioinformatics | Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research


BACKGROUND: Postoperative wound infection is a significant risk factor for recurrence after ventral hernia repair (VHR). The current study examines patient- and procedure-specific variables associated with wound infection.

METHODS: A cohort of subjects undergoing VHR from 13 regional Veterans Health Administration (VHA) sites was identified. Patient-specific risk variables were obtained from National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) data. Operative variables were obtained from physician-abstracted operative notes. Univariate and multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to model predictors of postoperative wound infection.

RESULTS: A total of 1505 VHR cases were used for analysis; wound infection occurred in 5% (n = 74). Best-fit logistic regression models demonstrated that steroid use, smoking, prolonged operative time, and use of absorbable mesh, acting as a surrogate marker for a more complex procedure, were significant independent predictors of wound infection.

CONCLUSION: Permanent mesh placement was not associated with postoperative wound infection. Smoking was the only modifiable risk factor and preoperative smoking cessation may improve surgical outcomes in VHR.

DOI of Published Version



Am J Surg. 2005 Nov;190(5):676-81. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American journal of surgery

PubMed ID


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed