Objective: To identify risk factors associated with losses to follow-up after inguinal herniorrhaphy and to examine whether these factors are associated with higher risks for recurrence according to the literature.
Material and method: Records of inguinal hernia patients who underwent elective inguinal herniorrhaphy between January 1998 and November 2006 were reviewed. Factors potentially associated with loss to follow-up included demographic variables, type of hernia, predisposing factors, type of anesthesia, surgeon experience, type of repair, and early operative complications. Loss to follow-up was defined as the absence of follow-up information three months after herniorrhaphy for at least two years.
Results: There were 1,451 patients with 1,727 hernia operations. Of these, 981 operations (57%) were lost to follow-up. On multivariable analysis, factors associated with loss to follow-up included younger age, male gender secondary hernia, tissue-based repair, indirect inguinal hernia, and no postoperative complications. Many of these factors were not known to be associated with increased recurrence after hernia repair
Conclusion: Hernia repairs lost to follow-up were systematically different from those not lost to follow-up, but factors related to these losses were not clearly or uniformly associated with higher risks for recurrence according to the literature.