Impact of Mesh Fixation on Chronic Pain in Total Extraperitoneal Inguinal Hernia Repair (TEP): A Nationwide Register-based Study

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Abstract

Background:

Mesh fixation is used to prevent recurrence at the potential risk for chronic pain in TEP. The aim was to compare the impact of permanent fixation (PF) with no fixation (NF)/nonpermanent fixation (NPF) of mesh on chronic pain after TEP repair for primary inguinal hernia.

Methods:

Men, 30 to 75 years old, consecutively registered in the Swedish Hernia Register for a TEP primary repair in 2005 to 2009, were included in a mail survey using SF-36 and the Inguinal Pain Questionnaire (IPQ). Primary endpoint was IPQ question “Did you have pain during past week that could not be ignored.” Risk factors for chronic pain and recurrent operations were analyzed.

Results:

A total of 1110 patients were included (325 PF, 785 NF/NPF) with 7.7% reporting pain at median 33 months follow-up. No difference regarding primary endpoint pain (P < 0.462), IPQ and SF-36 subscales were seen. Recurrent operation was carried out in 1.4% during 7.5 years follow-up with no difference between PF- and NF-groups including subgroups of medial hernias. All SF-36 subscale-scores were equal to or better than the Swedish norm. A postoperative complication was a risk factor for chronic pain (OR 2.44, 95% CI 1.23–5.25, P < 0.023).

Conclusions:

The TEP procedure for primary inguinal hernia repair in men is associated with a low frequency of chronic pain and recurrent operations, with no difference between permanent fixation and no/nonpermanent fixation of mesh in a nationwide population-based study. TEP without fixation reduces costs and is safe for all patients.

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