Compliance to the South African ventral hernia guidelines: inaugural results from the HIG(SA) registry

J. Gouws, D. Nel, H. C. Bougard, Z. Koto, R. Oodit, J. C. Kloppers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The Hernia Interest Group (HIG) of South Africa (SA), following the publication of their inguinal and ventral hernia guidelines (in 2015 and 2016 respectively), developed a hernia registry, the HIG(SA) hernia registry. Methods: A retrospective analysis of the prospectively maintained HIG(SA) hernia registry from 1 February 2019 to 29 February 2020. Compliance to six recommendations made in the HIG(SA) ventral hernia guidelines were assessed in both the public and private healthcare systems. Results: Three hundred and fifty-three ventral hernia repair cases were included in the study. Fifty-four per cent were private and 46% were public sector cases. Laparoscopic repair for patients with a BMI > 35 kg/m2 occurred in 38% of eligible cases and a minimum 5 cm of mesh overlap was achieved in 50% of cases. Overall, 80% of elective cases occurred in non-smokers; 97% of the intraperitoneal on-lay mesh (IPOM) repairs used composite mesh; 96% of ventral hernias with defects of larger than 2 cm and 95% of incisional hernias were repaired with mesh. Non-smokers undergoing repair numbered 72% in public and 85% in private practice, p = 0.01. Conclusion: Ventral hernia repair practices in SA facilities overall had good compliance to four out of the six HIG(SA) ventral hernia guidelines highlighted for the purposes of this study. The two guidelines that had poor compliance overall were ‘laparoscopic repair for patients with a BMI of > 35 kg/m2’ and ‘ensuring a mesh overlap of 5 cm’. The public sector had higher rates of current smokers undergoing elective ventral hernia repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-148
Number of pages4
JournalSouth African Journal of Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Hernia guidelines
  • Low-middle income countries
  • Registry
  • Ventral hernia


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