Emergent groin hernia repair at a County Hospital in Guatemala: patient-related issues vs. health care system limitations

A. Ochoa-Hernandez, C. Timmerman, C. Ortiz, V. L. Huertas, S. Huerta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: The rate of emergent groin hernia repair in developing countries is poorly understood. Materials and Methods: A retrospective analysis of groin hernia repairs performed at a county hospital in Guatemala [Hospital Nacional de San Benito (HSNB)] was undertaken and compared to a literature review in developed countries. Patients with incarcerated hernias were interviewed to determine factors related to late presentation. Results: Twenty-five percent of patients with groin hernias in this analysis presented at HNSB emergently (vs. 2.5–7.7% in developed countries). Most patients were male in their fifth decade of life. Ten percent of hernias were femoral. There was no delay in scheduling patients for surgery presenting for elective repair. Most patients lived within 20 miles of the hospital, but only 50% of patients returned for their follow-up appointment. Most patients with an incarcerated inguinal hernia (56%) did not seek medical attention because of family obligations, but when they did, this decision was influence by their children (66%). None of the patients presenting with an incarcerated hernia had education past secondary school. In fact, most (56%) did not have any form formal education. Nearly 90% of patients who had an incarcerated hernia repaired thought that the hospital provided good-to-excellent care. Conclusion: A high number of patients present emergently for groin hernia repair at a county hospital in Guatemala compared to developed countries. Our data suggest that emergent hernias are likely the result of patient-related issues rather than health care system limitations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-632
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • Amyand’s hernia
  • Emergent hernia
  • Femoral hernia
  • Inguinal hernia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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