Predictors of wound infection in ventral hernia repair

Kelly R. Finan, Catherine C. Vick, Catarina I. Kiefe, Leigh Neumayer, Mary T. Hawn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

226 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)676-681
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • Hernia, ventral
  • Mesh
  • Smoking
  • Surgical wound infection
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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