Background: The optimal anesthesia modality for umbilical hernia repair is unclear. We hypothesized that using local rather than general anesthesia would be associated with improved outcomes, especially for frail patients. Methods: We utilized the 1998-2018 Veterans Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program to identify patients who underwent elective, open umbilical hernia repair under general or local anesthesia. We used the Risk Analysis Index to measure frailty. Outcomes included complications and operative time. Results: There were 4958 Veterans (13%) whose hernias were repaired under local anesthesia. Compared to general anesthesia, local was associated with a 12%-24% faster operative time for all patients, and an 86% lower (OR 0.14, 95%CI 0.03-0.72) complication rate for frail patients. Conclusions: Local anesthesia may reduce the operative time for all patients and complications for frail patients having umbilical hernia repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-95
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Frailty
  • General anesthesia
  • Local anesthesia
  • Umbilical hernia
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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