Hypothesis: The prevalence of and risk factors for incisional hernias among temporary stoma wounds have implications for clinical practice.
Design: Retrospective cohort study.
Setting: University tertiary care hospital.
Patients: All adult patients with a stoma closed between January 1, 2000, and August 1, 2004. Of 150 living patients, 111 (74.0%) were included for analysis after follow-up at the outpatient clinic.
Main outcome measures: The main outcome was incisional hernia in a temporary stoma wound, defined as a defect within the musculature and fascia detected by ultrasonographic examination. Risk factors for incisional hernias and the diagnostic validity of clinical symptoms and palpation during the Valsalva maneuver were determined.
Results: After a median follow-up of 35 months (range, 5-77 months), hernia prevalence was 32.4%. Among patients with a body mass index (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) of less than 30, hernia prevalence was 25.8%; among patients with a body mass index of 30 or higher, hernia prevalence was 59.1%. Palpation demonstrated the highest sensitivity (58.3%). One in 6 patients had discomfort at the temporary stoma site and no palpable defect but showed an incisional hernia on ultrasonographic examination. Obesity was the sole significant risk factor identified in this study (odds ratio, 5.53; 95% confidence interval, 1.72-17.80). The presence of a stoma in situ for less than 6 months showed a trend toward being a risk factor (odds ratio, 2.38; 95% confidence interval, 0.96-5.99).
Conclusion: Incisional hernias occur in 1 of 3 temporary stoma wounds, and a body mass index of 30 or higher is a risk factor.