Feasibility of Umbilical Hernia Repair Under Local Anesthesia and Monitored Anesthesia Care at a Veteran Affairs Hospital

Lindsey Loss, Jennie Meier, Tri Phung, Javier Ordonez, Sergio Huerta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Local anesthesia (LA) for open umbilical hernia tissue repair (OUHTR) is not widely utilized in academic centers in the United States. We hypothesize that LA for OUHTR is feasible in a veteran patient population. Methods: From 2015 to 2019, 449 umbilical hernias were repaired at our institution utilizing a standardized technique in veteran patients. OUHTR was included in this analysis (n = 283). Since 2017, 18.7% (n = 53) UH were repaired under LA. We compared outcomes and operative times between general anesthesia and LA in patients undergoing OUHTR. Univariable and multivariable analyses were performed to determine significance. Results: The entire cohort was composed of older (56.3 ± 12.1 years), White (75.5%), obese (body mass index [BMI] = 32.3 ± 4.6 kg/m2) men (98.0%). The average hernia size for the entire cohort was 2.42 ± 1.2 cm. The groups were similar in age and BMI. Patients with higher American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) (Odds ratio [OR] 3.1; 95% CI 1.5-6.8) and cardiovascular disease (OR 2.7; 95% CI 1.0-7.2) were more likely to receive LA. Recurrence (0.0% vs 6.0%; P =.9) and 30-day complications (6.0% vs 13%; P =.9) were similar between LA and GA after correcting for hernia size. Operating room times were reduced in the LA group (17.7 minutes; P <.05). None of the patients with LA required postanesthesia care unit for recovery. The patients who received LA reported being comfortable (78.9% of patients), with the worst reported pain being 2.4 ± 2.4 (out of a scale of 10), and 94.7% would elect to receive LA if they had another hernia repair. Conclusion: Patients who received LA had more cardiac disease and a higher ASA. Complications were similar between both groups. LA reduced operating room times. Patients were satisfied with LA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-173
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • local anesthetic
  • umbilical hernia
  • veteran affairs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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