Risk factors for perioperative complications in inguinal hernia repair - a systematic review

Innov Surg Sci. 2017 Feb 25;2(2):47-52. doi: 10.1515/iss-2017-0008. eCollection 2017 Jun.


The current literature suggests that perioperative complications occur in 8%-10% of all inguinal hernia repairs. However, the clinical relevance of these complications is currently unknown. In our review, based on 571,445 hernia repairs reported in 39 publications, we identified the following potential risk factors: patient age, ASA score, diabetes, smoking, mode of admission (emergency vs. elective surgery), surgery in low resource settings, type of anesthesia, and (in men) bilateral and sliding hernias. The most commonly reported complications are bleeding (0.9%), wound infection (0.5%), and pulmonary and cardiovascular complications (0.2%). In 3.9% of the included publications, a reliable grading of the reported complications according to Clavien-Dindo classification was possible. Using this classification retrospectively, we could show that, in patients with complications, these are clinically relevant for about 22% of these patients (Clavien-Dindo grade ≥IIIa). About 78% of all patients suffered from complications needing only minor (meaning mostly medical) intervention (Clavien-Dindo grade <III). Especially with regard to the low incidence of complications in inguinal hernia repair, future studies should use the Clavien-Dindo classification to achieve better comparability between studies, thus enabling better correlation with potential risk factors.

Keywords: Clavien-Dindo classification; inguinal hernia surgery.

Publication types

  • Review