Outcomes of obese compared to non-obese veterans undergoing open inguinal hernia repair: a case–control study

S. Huerta, N. Tran, B. Yi, T. Pham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: The optimal approach for inguinal hernia repair in the obese remains elusive. Minimally invasive techniques show equivocal results compared to the open method. None of the current analyses include a non-obese control group because the differences in factors leading to complications vary widely between these two cohorts. Materials and Methods: In the present study, we matched (1:1) obese to non-obese patients undergoing an open inguinal hernia repair. Matching was performed by age, hernia type (bilateral, inguinal, femoral, recurrent, primary, direct, pantaloon, and scrotal component), type of repair (tissue repair vs. mesh), concurrent umbilical hernia repair, current smoking, ASA Class, a history of DM and COPD. Results: Demographics in the unmatched cohorts demonstrated significantly (p < 0.05) wide differences between obese (n = 319) and non-obese (n = 1137) veterans: age (58.0- vs. 63.4-year-old), indirect hernia (37.7% vs. 45.5%), scrotal component (14.4% vs. 9.9%), current smoking (23.5% vs. 34.4%), DM (20.8% vs. 13.1%), OSA (13.2% vs. 3.6%), COPD (12.2% vs. 18.5%), and BPH (16.9% vs. 23.3). After matching, there were 300 obese and 300 non-obese patients available for analysis. There was no difference in 30-day morbidity between obese and non-obese patients in the unmatched (11.0% vs. 7.9%; p = 0.09) and matched (10.7% vs. 8.1%, p = 0.27) cohorts. Similarly, no differences in inguinodynia and recurrence were observed in either matched or unmatched cohorts. Conclusion: Obese patients pose no further risk in outcomes compared to non-obese veterans undergoing open inguinal hernia repair. The best technique for an inguinal hernia repair in obese patients should rest on the comfort and the experience of the surgeon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1289-1294
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Body mass index
  • Groin hernia
  • Operative time
  • Veteran Affairs Hospital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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