BACKGROUND: The safety of concurrent panniculectomy during ventral hernia repair remains a widely debated topic. This study aims to compare outcomes in obese patients who undergo ventral hernia repair with concurrent panniculectomy versus ventral hernia repair alone. METHODS: An 8-year retrospective cohort study was performed on obese patients who underwent ventral hernia repair. Patients were divided into those who underwent concurrent panniculectomy and those who did not. Postoperative complications were compared between these groups. RESULTS: A total of 223 patients were analyzed: 122 in the ventral hernia repair with concurrent panniculectomy group and 101 in the ventral hernia repair-only group. Median follow-up duration was 141 days. Patients in the ventral hernia repair with concurrent panniculectomy group had more surgical-site occurrences (57 percent versus 40 percent; p = 0.012). Both groups had similar rates of surgical-site occurrences that required an intervention (39 percent versus 31 percent; p = 0.179) and similar rates of hernia recurrence (23 percent versus 29 percent; p = 0.326). Multivariate analysis showed that concurrent panniculectomy increased the risk of surgical-site occurrences by two-fold; however, it did not increase the risk of surgical-site occurrences that required an intervention. CONCLUSIONS: The addition of a panniculectomy to ventral hernia repair increases surgical-site occurrences but does not increase complications that require an intervention. As such, ventral hernia repair with concurrent panniculectomy can be considered in obese patients with a symptomatic panniculus who wish to have a single-stage operation and the lifestyle benefits of a panniculectomy. CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic, III.
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