Outcomes of Paraesophageal Hernia Repair: Analysis of the Veterans Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program Database

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery




Laparoscopic repair; Open repair; Outcomes; Paraesophageal hernia repair; VASQIP; Veterans integrated service network


© 2020, The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract (This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply). Background: While there have been many outcome studies on paraesophageal hernia repair in the civilian population, there is sparse recent data on the veteran population. This study analyzes the mortality and morbidities of veterans who underwent paraesophageal hernia repair in the Veterans Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program database. Methods: Veterans who underwent paraesophageal hernia repair from 2010 to 2017 were identified using Current Procedural Terminology codes. Multivariable analysis was used to compare laparoscopic and open, including abdominal and thoracic approaches, groups. The outcomes were postoperative complications and mortality. Results: There were 1607 patients in the laparoscopic group and 366 in the open group, with 84.1% men and mean age of 61 years. Gender and body mass index did not influence the type of surgical approach. The mortality rates at 30 and 180 days were 0.5% and 0.7%, respectively. Postoperative complications, including reintubation (2.2%), pneumonia (2.0%), intubation > 48 h (2.0%), and sepsis (2.0%) were higher in the open group (15.9% versus 7.2%, p < 0.001). The laparoscopic group had a significantly shorter length of stay (4.3 versus 9.6 days, p < 0.001) and a lower percentage of return to surgery within 30 days (3.9% versus 8.2%, p < 0.001) than the open group. The ratio of open versus laparoscopic paraesophageal hernia repairs varied significantly by different Veterans Integrated Services Network regions. Conclusions: Veterans undergoing laparoscopic paraesophageal hernia repair experience similar outcomes as patients in the private sector. Veterans who underwent laparoscopic paraesophageal hernia repair had significantly less complications compared to an open approach even after adjusting for patient comorbidities and demographics. The difference in open versus laparoscopic practices between various regions requires further investigation.

This document is currently not available here.