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Surgeon Volume and Risk of Reoperation after Laparoscopic Primary Ventral Hernia Repair: A Nationwide Register-Based Study

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Background: Repairs of primary ventral hernias are common procedures but are associated with high recurrence rates. Therefore, it is important to investigate risk factors for recurrence to optimize current treatments. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of annual surgeon volume on the risk of reoperation for recurrence after primary ventral hernia repair. Study Design: We conducted a nationwide register-based study with data from the Danish Ventral Hernia Database and the Danish Patient Safety Authority's Online Register linked via surgeons’ authorization identification. We included patients 18 years and older, undergoing umbilical or epigastric hernia repair between 2011 and 2020. Annual surgeon volume was categorized into ≤ 9, 10 to 19, 20 to 29, and ≥ 30 cases. Patients were followed until reoperation, death, emigration, or end of the study period. Results: We included 7,868 patients who underwent laparoscopic (n = 1,529 [19%]), open mesh (n = 4,138 [53%]), or open nonmesh (n = 2,201 [28%]) repair. There was an increased risk of reoperation after laparoscopic umbilical or epigastric hernia repair for surgeons with ≤ 9 (hazard ratio 6.57; p = 0.008), 10 to 19 (hazard ratio 6.58; p = 0.011), and 20 to 29 (hazard ratio 13.59; p = 0.001) compared with ≥ 30 cases/y. There were no differences in risk of reoperation after open mesh and open nonmesh repair in relation to annual surgeon volume. Conclusions: There was a significantly higher risk of reoperation after laparoscopic primary ventral hernia repair performed by lower-volume surgeons compared with high-volume surgeons. Additional research investigating how sufficient surgical training and supervision are ensured is indicated to reduce risk of reoperation after primary ventral hernia repair.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Volume233
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)346-356.e4
ISSN1072-7515
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

    Research areas

  • Adult, Databases, Factual, Denmark, Emergencies/epidemiology, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Hernia, Ventral/surgery, Herniorrhaphy/methods, Humans, Laparoscopy/statistics & numerical data, Male, Middle Aged, Proportional Hazards Models, Recurrence, Registries/statistics & numerical data, Reoperation/statistics & numerical data, Risk, Risk Factors, Surgeons/statistics & numerical data, Surgical Mesh

ID: 67644076