CC BY 4.0 · Surg J (N Y) 2021; 07(01): e41-e46
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1722744
Original Article

Abdominal Wall Hernias: An Epidemiological Profile and Surgical Experience from a Rural Medical College in Central India

Bharati Pandya
1   Department of General Surgery, AIIMS, Bhopal, India
Tanweerul Huda
2   Department of General Surgery, L. N. Medical College, Bhopal, India
Dilip Gupta
3   Department of Surgery, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Wardha, India
Bhupendra Mehra
3   Department of Surgery, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Wardha, India
Ravinder Narang
3   Department of Surgery, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Wardha, India
› Author Affiliations


Background Abdominal wall hernia is a common surgical entity worldwide with groin hernias having the most common presentation among them. They are a cause of morbidity and mortality if not addressed in time. A variety of surgical methods are available for the repair of hernias. The tension-free repair using synthetic mesh has the least recurrence and is the most accepted.

Aim To describe the surgical burden and clinical profile of abdominal wall hernias as well as experiences in their management in a rural setup.

Methods This was a retrospective observational study of all the cases of abdominal wall hernias presenting to various surgical divisions of Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram, during a two-year period from December 2011 to November 2013. Relevant details were collected from the hospital information statistics and patient file records and analysis of obtained data was done.

Result A total of 910 out of 90,056 surgical outpatients (10.10%) seen during this period had abdominal wall hernias; 816 (89.67%) got operated. A total of 163 (20%) of 816 were operated in an emergency. Groin hernias were the most common 653 (80%), followed by incisional 82 (10%), umbilical and paraumbilical 41 (5%), epigastric 33 (4%), and rarer hernias in 8 (1%). Of 816 operations, 24 (2.9%) had recurrent hernias and 83 (10.17%) were pediatric patients. Male to female ratio was 9:1 in adults and 4:1 in children. The median age among adults was 49 years (range: 14–95 years), and among the pediatric age group, it was 7 years (range: 3 months–14 years). The majority of the adult patients were from a low-income group and presented more than 2 years after symptoms appeared. Comorbid conditions encountered were hypertension in 212 (26%), diabetes in 155 (19%), chronic airway disorders in 449 (55%), cardiac problems in 163 (20%), obesity in 10 (1.2%), and chronic renal failure and liver disorder in 82 (1%). Predisposing factors in the majority of the patients were chronic cough 449 (55%), prostatic problems in 187 (23%), chronic constipation in 163 (20%), previous surgeries in 82 (10%), obesity in 10 (1.2%), and ascites in 9 (0.1%). Hernia surgery was performed laparoscopically in 51 (6.25%) patients. Simultaneous other surgeries were performed in 130 (16%) patients. Mortality occurred in 2 (0.24%) patients operated in emergency, and chief morbidity was due to wound infection in 25 (3%) and chronic pain in 30 (3.9%) patients.

Conclusion Abdominal wall hernias are common clinical entities. Although the pattern of presentation and management is similar, the challenges faced in a rural setup are due to ignorance, social inhibitions, and financial restraints, leading to delayed presentations which increase their morbidity and mortality. Health programs and surveys to increase awareness in rural areas as well as cutting down on expenses could help these patients.

Publication History

Received: 04 April 2020

Accepted: 12 November 2020

Article published online:
11 March 2021

© 2021. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is properly cited. (

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