Umbilical hernia repair increases the rate of functional gastrointestinal disorders in children

Rosen, J. M.; Adams, P. N.; Saps, M.

J Pediatr. 2013 Jun 14; 163(4):1065-8


OBJECTIVES: To hypothesize that hernia repair would not change the incidence of functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) due to the benign and limited nature of the procedure. STUDY DESIGN: This cohort study assessed a randomized selection of children aged 4-18 years who underwent hernia repair more than 4 years prior at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. Controls were siblings who had not undergone surgery previously. Parents completed the Questionnaire on Pediatric Gastrointestinal Symptoms-Rome III Version by telephone for subjects and controls. The primary outcome was the presence of FGIDs. RESULTS: Fifty children with hernia repair and 43 sibling controls were identified. At the time of survey, subjects with hernia repair were average age 12.9 years (range 5-18 years, 60% male) and controls were average age 12.2 years (range 4-18 years, 49% male). Average age at surgical repair was 5.2 years (median 5.2 years, range 0.2-10.4 years) and average time since surgical repair was 7.8 years (range 4.8-13.7 years). FGIDs were diagnosed in 10/50 (20%) cases of hernia repair and 2/43 (5%) controls (P = .033, Fisher 2-tailed test). CONCLUSIONS: Umbilical hernia repair increases the likelihood of FGIDs in childhood. Additional studies are needed to identify aspects of surgery that may be associated with development of FGIDs.

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