Background: Incisional hernia (IH) is one of the most frequent complications after abdominal surgery. Follow-up with regard to IH remains challenging. Physical examination and imaging to diagnose IH are time-consuming and costly, require devotion of both the physician and patient, and are often not prioritized. Therefore, a patient-reported diagnostic questionnaire for the diagnosis of IH was developed. Objective of this study was to validate this questionnaire in a consecutive sample of patients. Methods: All patients above 18 y of age who underwent abdominal surgery with a midline incision at least 12 mo ago were eligible for inclusion. Included patients visited the outpatient clinic where they filled out the diagnostic questionnaire and underwent physical examination. The questionnaire answers were compared with the physical examination results. The diagnostic accuracy of the entire questionnaire was assessed by multivariable logistic regression. Results: In total, 241 patients visited the outpatient clinic prospectively. 54 (22%) patients were diagnosed with IH during physical examination. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of the diagnostic questionnaire was 0.82. Sensitivity and specificity were respectively 81.5% and 77.5%. The positive and negative predictive values were 51.2% and 94%, respectively. Ten (19%) patients with IH were missed by the questionnaire. Conclusions: The patient-reported diagnostic questionnaire as currently proposed cannot be used to diagnose IH. However, given the high negative predictive value, the questionnaire might be used to rule out an IH. Long-term follow-up for the diagnosis of IH should be performed by clinical examination.

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Keywords Diagnosis, Incisional hernia
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Journal Journal of Surgical Research
Sneiders, D, Jairam, A.P, de Smet, G.H.J, Dawson, I, van Eeghem, K.H.A, Vrijland, W.W, … Lange, J.F. (Johan F.). (2020). Incisional Hernia Cannot Be Diagnosed by a Patient-Reported Diagnostic Questionnaire. Journal of Surgical Research, 245, 656–662. doi:10.1016/j.jss.2019.07.030