Acronyms Use in Abdominal Wall Reconstruction: Introduction to a New Language

B. Ramana*, Rudrajit Sinha, Brian Jacob, Shirin Towfigh, Danny Rosin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The use of acronyms in medicine is widespread, aiming to simplify and condense communication. Online communication in social media platforms seems to enhance the use of acronyms, but their efficiency in message delivery may be negated by their abundance and unfamiliarity, causing more confusion than clarity. We analyzed the use of acronyms in a closed Facebook group dedicated to abdominal wall reconstruction (AWR), as the rapid recent development of this field has resulted in many new acronyms. Our aim was to classify the different acronyms and create a public reference. Methods: The International Hernia Collaboration, a hernia-related Facebook group, now communicating more than 7500 surgeons from 99 countries, was studied, by extracting acronyms used since its inception in 2012. Acronyms were categorized and interpreted, to create a small dictionary comprised of several tables. Results: Commonly used acronyms were identified, as well as commonly used prefixes that modify the acronyms’ meaning. Tables were created, classifying acronyms by their subject: 1.Anatomy2.Diseases and clinical conditions3.Techniques and materials. Conclusion: The use of acronyms increased in social media-based communication. Aiming to simplify the language, the inflation of terms may have achieved the opposite, by adding a multitude of unfamiliar and confusing terms. We have created a public reference for AWR-related acronyms. Limiting the liberal creation of new acronyms is recommended, especially in a rapidly changing field as AWR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-83
Number of pages6
JournalWorld Journal of Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020


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