Introduction: Postoperative wound events following ventral hernia repair are an important outcome measure. While efforts have been made by hernia surgeons to identify and address risk factors for postoperative wound events following VHR, the definition of these events lacks standardization. Therefore, the purpose of our study was to detail the variability of wound event definitions in recent ventral hernia literature and to propose standardized definitions for postoperative wound events following VHR. Methods: The top 50 cited ventral hernia, peer-reviewed publications from 1995 through 2015 were identified using the search engine Google Scholar. The definition of wound event used and the incidence of postoperative wound events was recorded for each article. The number of articles that used a standardized definition for surgical site infection (SSI), surgical site occurrence (SSO), or surgical site occurrence requiring procedural intervention (SSOPI) was also identified. Results: Of the 50 papers evaluated, only nine (18%) used a standardized definition for SSI, SSO, or SSOPI. The papers that used standardized definitions had a smaller variability in the incidence of wound events when compared to one another and their reported rates were more consistent with recently published ventral hernia repair literature. Conclusion: Postoperative wound events following VHR are intimately associated with patient quality of life and long-term hernia repair durability. Standardization of the definition of postoperative wound events to include SSI, SSO, and SSOPI following VHR will improve the ability of hernia surgeons to make evidence-based decisions regarding the management of ventral hernias.
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