Background: We investigated the impact of incisional hernia (IH) on quality of life and body image.
Methods: Open abdominal surgery patients were included in a prospective cohort study performed between 2007 and 2009 in an academic hospital. Main outcomes were incidence of IH after approximately 12 months and Short-Form 36 and body image questionnaire results.
Results: There were 374 patients who were examined after a median follow-up period of 16 months (range, 10-24 mo). Seventy-five patients had developed IH (20%); 63 (84%) were symptomatic. Adjusted for age, sex, and Charlson Comorbidity Index score, patients with IH reported significantly lower mean scores for components physical functioning (P = .033), role physical (P = .002), and physical component summary (P = .010). A trend toward significance was found for general health (P = .061). Patients with IH reported significantly lower mean cosmetic scores (P = .002), and body image and total body image scores (both P < .001).
Conclusions: Patients with IH reported lower mean scores on physical components of health-related quality of life and body image.
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