BACKGROUND: Consensus lacks concerning management of ventral hernia in women who are, or might become pregnant. The aim of this systematic review was to examine the risk of recurrence following pre-pregnancy ventral hernia repair, and secondly the prevalence of ventral hernia during pregnancy and the risk of surgical repair pre- and post-partum.
DATA SOURCES: PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, Cochrane Library and Web of Science were systematically searched for randomized controlled trials, case-control, cohort studies and larger case-series on ventral (umbilical, epigastric or incisional) hernia repair in relation to pregnancy.
CONCLUSIONS: If possible, elective ventral repair should be postponed until after last pregnancy. A non-mesh repair seems appropriate for smaller primary ventral hernia in women who plan future pregnancies. Umbilical hernia during pregnancy seems very rare and seldom requires repair pre- and post-partum. Routine practice of umbilical hernia repair in combination with cesarean section cannot be recommended.