Purpose: Expert consensus recommends that all ventral hernias be repaired prior to, or concomitantly with, peritoneal dialysis (PD) catheter insertion. We examined the clinical outcomes of patients undergoing initial PD catheter insertion, with asymptomatic ventral hernias that were not repaired and rather managed using a watchful waiting approach. Methods: A single-center, retrospective review of patients undergoing PD catheter insertion from 2005–2019 was performed. Patients who did not undergo repair of a pre-existing ventral hernia at the time of their initial PD catheter insertion were included. The primary endpoint was ventral hernia repair following PD catheter insertion. Results: Forty-one patients were included. Most patients presented with an umbilical hernia (78%). Six patients (15%) underwent ventral hernia repair at a median postoperative interval of 12 months [IQR 8–16], due to abdominal discomfort and hernia enlargement (n = 2) and incarceration (n = 2). Two patients remained asymptomatic, yet underwent ventral hernia repair at the time of renal transplantation. The cumulative incidence of ventral hernia repair within 12 and 24 months of PD catheter insertion was 13% and 21%, respectively. Conclusion: Watchful waiting may be an acceptable option for select patients with asymptomatic ventral hernias at the time of initial PD catheter placement. These findings highlight the need to better identify factors associated with asymptomatic ventral hernias that do not warrant concomitant repair to aid surgeons in the decision-making process.
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