Application of Component Separation and Short-Term Outcomes in Ventral Hernia Repairs

Published:October 13, 2022DOI:



      Component separation (CS) techniques have evolved in recent years. How surgeons apply the various CS techniques, anterior component separation (aCS) versus posterior component separation (pCS), by patient and hernia-specific factors remain unknown in the general population. Improving the quality of ventral hernia repair (VHR) on a large scale requires an understanding of current practice variations and how these variations ultimately affect patient care. In this study, we examine the application of CS techniques and the associated short-term outcomes while taking into consideration patient and hernia-specific factors.


      We retrospectively reviewed a clinically rich statewide hernia registry, the Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative Hernia Registry, of persons older than 18 y who underwent VHR between January 2020 and July 2021. The exposure of interest was the use of CS. Our primary outcome was a composite end point of 30-d adverse events including any complication, emergency department visit, readmission, and reoperation. Our secondary outcome was surgical site infection (SSI). Multivariable logistic regression examined the association of CS use, 30-d adverse events, and SSI with patient-, hernia-, and operative-specific variables. We performed a sensitivity analysis evaluating for differences in application and outcomes of the posterior and aCS techniques.


      A total of 1319 patients underwent VHR, with a median age (interquartile range) of 55 y (22), 641 (49%) female patients, and a median body mass index of 32 (9) kg/m2. CS was used in 138 (11%) patients, of which 101 (73%) were pCS and 37 (27%) were aCS. Compared to patients without CS, patients undergoing a CS had larger median hernia widths (2.5 cm (range 0.01-23 cm) versus 8 cm (1-30 cm), P < 0.001). Of the CS cases, 49 (36%) performed in hernias less than 6 cm in size. Following multivariate regression, factors independently associated with the use of a CS were diabetes (odds ratio [OR]: 2.00, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.19-3.36), previous hernia repair (OR: 1.88, 95% CI: 1.20-2.96), hernia width (OR: 1.28, 95% CI: 1.22-1.34), and an open approach (OR: 3.83, 95% CI: 2.24-6.53). Compared to patients not having a CS, use of a CS was associated with increased odds of 30-d adverse events (OR: 1.88 95% CI: 1.13-3.12) but was not associated with SSI (OR: 1.95, 95% CI: 0.74-4.63). Regression analysis demonstrated no differences in 30-d adverse events or SSI between the pCS and aCS techniques.


      This is the first population-level report of patients undergoing VHR with concurrent posterior or aCS. These data suggest wide variation in the application of CS in VHR and raises a concern for potential overutilization in smaller hernias. Continued analysis of CS application and the associated outcomes, specifically recurrence, is necessary and underway.


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