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The aim of this study is to evaluate the quality of life in patients with abdominal wall hernias using a user-friendly survey that is designed specifically for this population of patients. The investigators would like to use this survey to elucidate how quality of life of the patient is changed with the presence of an abdominal wall hernia.
Abdominal hernia repair is one of the most common general surgery procedures performed in the United States. Hernia occurrences after prior abdominal surgeries can range anywhere from 20-50%. Small abdominal defects (<3cm) can generally be repaired primarily, however, anything larger usually requires placement of mesh. If the defects are massive and complicated from prior repairs; they often require prolonged operating time, and sometimes even multiple-staged procedures to complete repair. In patients with co-morbidities and needing abdominal hernia repair, the surgeons are generally cautious in recommending surgical treatments as long as no acute emergency exists due to the hernia. Due to the high post-operative complications in these patients, the risks of the surgery may outweigh the benefit of the repair. As a result, many patients with large, complicated hernias are delegated to medical management including the use of abdominal binders, conservative treatments of enterocutaneous fistula and chronic infections. However, these decisions are frequently made from the point of the view of the surgeons, and not the patients.
The investigators would like to evaluate how the patients perceive living with abdominal hernias, and how they view the effect of their quality of life affected by hernias. If the quality of life in these patients is severely affected, the investigators may be able to use that information to stratify these patients and to gauge the necessity of future repairs.
Currently, there is no quality of life survey target specifically for patients with abdominal hernia. Most institutions use the SF36 or a shortened SF36 form to evaluate quality of life. However, the SF36 is generic and cumbersome. It was originally designed for renal failure patients and is not entirely appropriate for hernia patients. This protocol will be the first one to use factors that are specific to hernia patients to accurately describe the patient's quality of life. Also, by generating a quality of life score for patients with different degrees of hernias, the investigators will be able to better stratify patients who may benefit from the hernia repair more than what the surgeons perceive because of the patients' other co-morbidities. And furthermore, the investigators would also like to show the improvement in quality of life in these patients after their successful repairs.
The Hernia QOL survey will be compared with the SF12 (a shortened version of the SF36).
Observational Model: Case-Only, Time Perspective: Prospective
University Hospitals Case Medical Center
University Hospitals of Cleveland
Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-23T21:09:21-0400
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