The Abdominal Wall Reconstruction Surgeons’ Community, an organization spearheaded by Indian surgeons, organized an immersive hernia conference between March 23-25 in New Delhi, India. This was attended by over 1500 surgeons from 40 different countries, a record turnout which reflects the unprecedented growth in the field of hernia surgery over the past decade, and the desire to collectively improve and advance our field.
A few highlights of the conference included:
- All women HERnia panel discussing hernia care in women. Large studies from Denmark demonstrated that women have a higher rate of chronic pain and hernia recurrence after small ventral hernia repair. In general, women with hernias < 2 cm in size tend to have less mesh implanted when compared with men with similar size hernias. More data is needed to analyze these trends and differences in treatment.
- South American surgeons presented their experience with management of post-operative seroma and lymphedema. They employ multi-modal techniques including taping with specific athletic tape and massage therapy with a trained specialist. These measures appear to resolve seromas significantly faster than abdominal binder use alone.
- Demonstration and results from the use of Fasciotens, which is a mechanical device used to get the fascia back together in hernias that are large and difficult to close. While not yet available in the U.S., the data from Europe and India is very encouraging as an option for large ventral hernias.
- Keynote address from Dr. Todd Henniford of University of North Carolina, discussing the cultural change in hernia care in the last 15 years. He reflected on the immense sharing of knowledge through social media platforms (an example is the Facebook-based International Hernia Collaboration), as well as the in-person training by fellow surgeons for mastery of complex surgical techniques using advanced technology. This collaborative spirit of hernia surgeons focuses on one purpose: better care for patients by achieving better outcomes in hernia surgery.