Impact of incisional hernia on health-related quality of life and body image: a prospective cohort study

Am J Surg. 2012 Aug;204(2):144-50. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2012.01.012. Epub 2012 May 10.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Body Image*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Esthetics
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hernia, Ventral / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Risk Factors
  • Surgical Wound Infection / complications