A study of metastatic carcinoma found in hernia sacs between 2006 and 2012 at one institution

Jordan A. Roberts, David Ho, Alberto G. Ayala, Jae Y. Ro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Hernia sacs are generally regarded as routine specimens in the daily practice of surgical pathology. However, unexpected findings including carcinoma can occasionally arise in these seemingly benign specimens. To ascertain the prevalence of metastatic carcinoma found within hernia sacs and to determine the importance of routine histologic examination of hernia sacs, we conducted a retrospective study of all hernia sacs with a diagnosis of metastatic carcinoma reported in our hospital system between January 2006 and December 2012. Of 3117 total herniorrhaphy specimens between 2006 and 2012, 11 (0.35%) were found to have metastatic carcinoma. Interestingly, in 3 cases, the initial diagnosis of cancer was made during histologic examination of the hernia sac. Metastatic carcinoma in hernia sacs is a rare occurrence; however, it is encountered in routine practice. It is recommended that herniorrhaphy specimens not be discarded and, instead, be regarded as peritoneal biopsies for routine histologic examination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-73
Number of pages3
JournalAnnals of Diagnostic Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Hernia sac
  • Metastatic carcinoma
  • Routine histologic examination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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