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Am J Surg. 2006 Nov;192(5):627-30.

Predictors of recurrence in veteran patients with umbilical hernia: single center experience.

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Surgical Service, Dallas VA Medical Center, VA North Texas Health Care System, 4500 S. Lancaster Rd., Surgical Service, MC 112, Dallas, TX 75216, USA.



Different medical and social conditions have been associated with primary and recurrent hernias. Possible predictors of recurrence after elective umbilical hernia repair have not been defined clearly. The aim of this study was to determine factors that predict recurrence in patients after elective repair of umbilical hernias.


A 6-year retrospective review of patients with elective umbilical hernia repair at the Dallas VA Medical Center was performed. Clinical and pathologic data were evaluated by univariate analysis to identify predictive factors for recurrence.


A total of 244 patients underwent elective hernia repair within the study period (male, 96%; mean age, 56 y; Caucasian, 74%; African American, 14%; Hispanic, 8%). Because 15 patients were not compliant with follow-up requirements, 229 were eligible for the study. Ninety-seven underwent suture repair (42.4%) and 132 underwent mesh repair (57.3%). Eleven recurrences were identified (4.8%): 7 in the suture repair group (7.7%) and 4 in the mesh repair group (3%). Univariate analysis showed that patients likely to develop recurrences were as follows: African American (15.6% vs. 3.5%; P = .017), type II diabetics (14.2% vs. 2.6%; P = .002), patients with hyperlipidemia (9.2% vs. 2.6%; P = .028), and human immunodeficiency virus-positive patients (66.6% vs. 3.9%; P = .000).


Smoking, obesity, size of hernia, type of repair, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease do not seem to predict recurrence of hernias in our VA population. African Americans, patients with type II diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and positive for human immunodeficiency virus, may have a higher risk for recurrence after elective umbilical hernia repair.

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