The effect of smoking on surgical outcomes in ventral hernia repair: a propensity score matched analysis of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program data

N. P. Borad, A. M. Merchant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: Although studies have implicated smoking as a positive predictor of post-operative outcomes in inguinal hernia repair, its impact on ventral hernia repair (VHR) is not as clear. This study aims to fill this gap by investigating the impact of smoking on developing adverse 30-day post-operative outcomes in VHR. Methods: Patients undergoing VHR between 2005 and 2014 were extracted from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database. Patients were stratified by smoking status and compared for significant differences in baseline characteristics. Logistic regression modeled the impact of smoking on the primary outcome variable of 30-day mortality and the secondary outcome variables of 30-day overall, cardiac, respiratory, or wound morbidity. To evaluate the influence of smoking in comparable groups undergoing VHR, a propensity score matched analysis was performed. Results: Out of 169,458 patients identified, 32,973 (19.5%) were classified as current smokers. Smokers and non/ex-smokers differed significantly in multiple pre-operative baseline characteristics. Unmatched univariate analyses revealed smoking status as a positive predictor of every post-operative outcome. These findings were validated with propensity score matching analyses, which found current smokers have an increased likelihood of 30-day mortality (OR 1.42), overall morbidity (OR 1.39), wound (OR 1.40), respiratory (OR 1.14), or cardiac morbidity (OR 1.88) compared to non/ex-smokers (p < 0.05 for all). Conclusions: Smoking is a modifiable risk factor with a detrimental impact on outcomes in patients undergoing ventral hernia repair. Delaying VHR and promoting smoking cessation prior to surgery may help reduce the odds of adverse 30-day post-operative outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)855-867
Number of pages13
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


  • Foregut surgery
  • Propensity score matching
  • Regression modeling
  • Smoking
  • Ventral hernia repair

Cite this