National Health Disparities in Incisional Hernia Repair Outcomes: An Analysis of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project National Inpatient Sample (HCUP-NIS) 2012-2014

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Surgery (United States)


Background: Incisional hernias represent an acquired defect from failed healing of an abdominal facial incision and are therefore distinct from primary hernias. While literature regarding incisional hernia incidence, risk factors, and treatment are abundant, no study has examined national health disparities specific to incisional hernia repair. The objective of this study was to analyze national health disparities unique to surgical incisional hernia repair procedures. Methods: Patient data queried from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project National Inpatient Sample from 2012 to 2014 using International Classification of Diseases 9th revision procedure codes for incisional hernia repair were used to generate univariate and multivariate models including demographics, socioeconomic factors, admission status, and hospital characteristics. Primary outcomes were nonelective admission status, in-hospital mortality, surgical complications, and extended duration of stay. Results: We estimated that 89,258 incisional hernia repair procedures occurred annually from 2012 to 2014, incurring $6.3 billion in hospital charges. By multivariate analysis, multiple risk factors contribute to significantly increased odds of nonelective repair. These include age over 65, female sex, non-White race, nonprivate insurance, obesity, and increased Charlson comorbidity index. Nonelective incisional hernia repair was strongly correlated with worse outcomes including in-hospital mortality (odds ratio [95% confidence interval] 3.01 [2.51, 3.61]), postoperative complications (odds ratio 1.2 [1.14, 1.25]), and extended duration of stay (odds ratio 2.96 [2.81, 3.12]). After controlling for admission status, other disparities persisted including extended duration of stay for Black individuals (odds ratio 1.21 (1.12, 1.31]). Conclusion: Providers should be aware of these significant health disparities in incisional hernia repair status and outcomes especially for elderly, non-White, nonprivate insurance, and obese/comorbid patients. Management strategies that increase access to elective repair and that prevent incisional hernia should be expanded to address these disparities.

First Page


Last Page


PubMed ID