Groin Pain Characteristics and Recurrence Rates: Three-year Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Self-gripping Progrip Mesh and Sutured Polypropylene Mesh for Open Inguinal Hernia Repair

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The aim of this study was to investigate long-term groin pain and inguinal hernia recurrence rates of 2 types of mesh and to describe the evolution of postoperative groin sensory disturbances.

Summary of Background Data:

Some patients with an inguinal hernia develop chronic pain following open mesh insertion. Previous trials comparing a semi-resorbable, self-gripping Progrip mesh with a standard sutured polypropylene mesh found conflicting results regarding recurrence rates and residual groin pain.


Patients aged >18 years scheduled for open primary hernia repair were randomized to a self-gripping mesh (Progrip) or a polypropylene mesh (standard). Removal of the inguinal nerves was left to the discretion of the surgeon. Pain was measured using Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) over a 3-year period. Pain characteristics and hernia recurrences were determined using physical examination.


Data of 274 patients were complete (75% three-year follow-up rate). Pain steadily decreased over time in both groups in a similar fashion (moderate pain 3.7% in each group). Hyperesthesia was experienced by 2.2% and 3.7% and hypoesthesia in 12% and 19% in Progrip and standard group, respectively. One of seven Progrip patients reported a foreign body feeling versus 1 of 5 standard patients (P = 0.06). Altered skin sensations were not related to a neurectomy. Hernia recurrence rate was 11.5% in the Progrip and 5% in the standard group (P = 0.05).


Three years after insertion of a self-gripping Progrip mesh or a sutured polypropylene mesh for an open primary inguinal hernia repair, groin pain is minimal, although altered groin skin sensations and foreign body feeling are quite common. A Progrip hernia repair is associated with a high recurrence rate.

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