BACKGROUND: In 2010, it was decided to centralize parastomal hernia repairs to five specialized hernia centres in Denmark to improve outcomes. The aim of this nationwide cohort study was to evaluate whether centralization of parastomal hernia repairs has had an impact on outcomes. Specifically, readmission, reoperation for complication, and operation for recurrence were analysed before and after centralization.
METHODS: By merging clinical and administrative outcome data from the Danish Hernia Database with those from the Danish National Patient Registry, all patients undergoing parastomal hernia repair in Denmark from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2018 were included. Centralization was defined as having at least 70 per cent of procedures were performed at one of the five national centres. Readmission, reoperation, and recurrence rates for emergency and elective repairs were evaluated before and after centralization.
RESULTS: In total, 1062 patients were included. Median follow-up was 992 days. Overall, the centralization process took 7 years. For elective repairs, the readmission, reoperation, mortality, and recurrence rates were comparable before and after centralization, but more patients overall and more patients with co-morbidity were offered surgery after centralization. For emergency repairs, there was a significant reduction in rates of reoperation (from 44.9 per cent (48 of 107) to 23 per cent (14 of 62); P = 0.004) and mortality (from 10.3 per cent (11 of 107) to 2 per cent (1 of 62); P = 0.034) after centralization.
CONCLUSION: Centralization led to more elective operations and better outcomes when emergency repair was needed. Centralization of parastomal hernia repair led to more patients receiving elective repair and significantly improved outcomes after emergency repair.