Incisional Hernia After Orthotopic Liver Transplantation: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

James R. Butler, Daniel C. O'Brien, Joshua K. Kays, Chandrashekhar A. Kubal, Burcin Ekser, Jonathan A. Fridell, Richard S. Mangus, John A. Powelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Incisional hernia (IH) is a well-known complication of orthotopic liver transplantation. Despite wide recognition of the impact of this problem, the incidence remains imprecisely known. Methods: The MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Clinical Trials and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews databases were searched from their inception to November 2017 for abstracts documenting IH after orthotropic liver transplantation (OLT). The primary endpoint of this study was incidence of IH, secondary endpoints were time to hernia and recurrence. Three reviewers independently graded abstracts for inclusion in this review. Heterogeneity in combining data was assumed prior to pooling. Random-effects meta-analyses were performed to estimate percentages and 95% CIs. Results: After a review of 77 abstracts, 18 studies were graded as relevant. The methodological quality of studies was assessed with a minimum Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine level of 2B. These represent a cohort of 981 patients with IH after OLT reported in the literature. A meta-analysis of studies meeting inclusion criteria shows mean incidence of 15.1% (CI 12.1%-18.2%). Aggregate recurrence rate reported in the literature is 12.4% (CI 4.3%-20.5%). Overall reported time to IH after OLT was 42.9 months. Conclusions: Although reported incidences of IH after OLT vary widely across studies, an overall incidence of 15.1% is reported. This is a relatively late complication after transplantation. Recurrence of hernia after initial repair is 12.4% within this patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTransplantation proceedings
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation

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    Butler, J. R., O'Brien, D. C., Kays, J. K., Kubal, C. A., Ekser, B., Fridell, J. A., Mangus, R. S., & Powelson, J. A. (Accepted/In press). Incisional Hernia After Orthotopic Liver Transplantation: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Transplantation proceedings.