Quality of life after abdominal wall reconstruction following open abdomen

Ben L. Zarzaur, Jennifer M. Dicocco, Charles P. Shahan, Katrina Emmett, Louis J. Magnotti, Martin A. Croce, Donna K. Hathaway, Timothy C. Fabian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Background: Management of intra-abdominal hypertension with an open abdomen and planned ventral hernia results in decreased mortality. But, delayed abdominal wall reconstruction (DAWR) is necessary. Results after DAWR demonstrate acceptable recurrence, morbidity, and mortality rates. However, little is known about quality of life (QOL) after DAWR. The purpose of this study was to analyze QOL after DAWR. Methods: Patients who had DAWR >15 years were identified from operative logs of a trauma center. Patients were contacted, and a QOL assessment was administered in person or via telephone. The QOL assessment contained the Short-Form 36-Item Health Survey 1.0, the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Checklist-Civilian Version, and the Centers for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Results: The QOL assessment was completed by 41 of 152 patients. The indication for open abdomen was injury in 37 (90%) and emergency operation in 4 (10%). Time to follow-up ranged from 9 months to 14.6 years after DAWR. Of 31 patients working before DAWR, 23% had not returned to work secondary to DAWR. Also, 65% screened positive for depression and 23% screened positive for PTSD. Compared with population norms Physical Component Scores were significantly lower for the study population (41.1 ± 13.2, p < 0.05). CONCLUSION:: Patients who undergo DAWR have decreased physical functioning and have a high prevalence of PTSD and depression. Consideration should be given to screening for depression and PTSD in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-291
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Open abdomen
  • Outcomes
  • Planned ventral hernia
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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