Current risk-assessment tools for surgical site occurrence (SSO) and surgical site infection (SSI) are based on expert opinion or are not specific to open ventral hernia repairs. We aimed to develop a risk-assessment tool for SSO and SSI and compare its performance against existing risk-assessment tools in patients with open ventral hernia repair.
A retrospective study of patients undergoing open ventral hernia repair (n = 888) was conducted at a single institution from 2000 through 2010. Rates of SSO and SSI were determined by chart review. Stepwise regression models were built to identify predictors of SSO and SSI and internally validated using bootstrapping. Odds ratios were converted to a point system and summed to create the Ventral Hernia Risk Score (VHRS) for SSO and SSI, respectively. Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was used to compare the accuracy of the VHRS models against the National Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Risk Index, Ventral Hernia Working Group (VHWG) grade, and VHWG score.
The rates of SSO and SSI were 33% and 22%, respectively. Factors associated with SSO included mesh implant, concomitant hernia repair, dissection of skin flaps, and wound class 4. Predictors of SSI included concomitant repair, dissection of skin flaps, American Society of Anesthesiologists class ≥3, wound class 4, and body mass index ≥40. The accuracy of the VHRS in predicting SSO and SSI exceeded National Nosocomial Infection Surveillance and VHWG grade, but was not better than VHWG score.
The VHRS identified patients at increased risk for SSO/SSI more accurately than the National Nosocomial Infection Surveillance scores and VHWG grade, and can be used to guide clinical decisions and patient counseling.