Purpose: A classification of parastomal hernias (PH) is needed to compare different populations described in various trials and cohort studies, complete the previous inguinal and ventral hernia classifications of the European Hernia Society (EHS) and will be integrated into the EuraHS database (European Registry of Abdominal Wall Hernias).
Methods: Several members of the EHS board and invited experts gathered for 2 days to discuss the development of an EHS classification of PH. The discussions were based on a literature review and critical appraisal of existing classifications.
Results: The classification proposal is based on the PH defect size (small is ≤5 cm) and the presence of a concomitant incisional hernia (cIH). Four types were defined: Type I, small PH without cIH; Type II, small PH with cIH; Type III, large PH without cIH; and Type IV, large PH with cIH. In addition, the classification grid includes details about whether the hernia recurs after a previous PH repair or whether it is a primary PH. Clinical validation is needed in the future to assess if the classification allows us to differentiate the treatment strategy and if the classification impacts outcome in these different subgroups.
Conclusion: A classification of PH divided into subgroups according to size and cIH was formulated with the aim of improving the ability to compare different studies and their results.