Does delaying repair of an asymptomatic hernia have a penalty?

Jon S. Thompson, James O. Gibbs, Domenic J. Reda, Martin McCarthy, Yongliang Wei, Anita Giobbie-Hurder, Robert J. Fitzgibbons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background: The incidence of hernia accident for inguinal hernias in men who are minimally symptomatic is sufficiently low that watchful waiting is an acceptable alternative to routine repair. Our aim was to determine whether a delay in hernia surgery affects short- and long-term outcomes. Methods: Patients from a multicenter randomized clinical trial of immediate tension-free repair versus watchful waiting for minimally symptomatic inguinal hernias were studied. Patients (n = 353) underwent tension-free repair and were classified as immediate repair (≤6 months, N = 288) or delayed repair (>6 months, N = 65). Results: Patients were similar at baseline with respect to age, American Society of Anesthesiologists classification, pre-existing conditions, hernia type, and hernia characteristics. Patients undergoing immediate and delayed repair had comparable surgical time, surgical complications, recurrence rates, and satisfaction with outcome. Multivariate analyses found no relation between duration until hernia repair and operative time, incidence of complications, long-term pain, or functional status. Conclusions: Delaying hernia repair in patients who are minimally symptomatic does not have an adverse effect on subsequent operation and on other outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-93
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Asymptomatic hernia
  • Hernia repair
  • Inguinal hernia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Does delaying repair of an asymptomatic hernia have a penalty?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this