PURPOSE: Although ventral incisional hernia (VIH) repair in patients is often evaluated in terms of hernia recurrence rate and health-related quality of life, there is no clear consensus regarding optimal operative treatment based on these parameters. It was proposed that health-related quality of life depends largely on abdominal muscle function (AMF), and the present review thus evaluates to what extent AMF is influenced by VIH and surgical repair. METHODS: The PubMed and EMBASE databases were searched for articles following a systematic strategy for inclusion. RESULTS: A total of seven studies described AMF in relation to VIH. Five studies examined AMF using objective isokinetic dynamometers to determine muscle strength, and two studies examined AMF by clinical examination-based muscle tests. CONCLUSION: Both equipment-related and functional muscle tests exist for use in patients with VIH, but very few studies have evaluated AMF in VIH. There are no randomized controlled studies to describe the impact of VIH repair on AMF, and no optimal surgical treatment in relation to AMF after VIH repair can be advocated for at this time.
Hernia : the Journal of Hernias and Abdominal Wall Surgery, 2014, Vol 18, Issue 4, p. 481-6