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To analyze the relative risk of reoperation for recurrence using 3 anesthetic alternatives, general anesthesia (GA), regional (spinal-, epidural-) anesthesia (RA), and local anesthesia (LA), and to study time trends for various anesthetic and operative methods, as well as other risk factors regarding reoperation for recurrence.The method of anesthesia used for hernia repair is generally assumed not to affect the long-term outcome. The few studies on the topic have rendered conflicting results.Data from the Swedish Hernia Register was used. Relative risk was first estimated using univariate analysis for assumed risk variables and then selecting variables with the highest or lowest univariate risk for multivariate analysis.From 1992 through 2001, 59,823 hernia repairs were recorded. Despite the fact that univariate analysis showed a somewhat lower risk for reoperation in the LA group, the multivariate analysis showed that LA was associated with a significantly increased risk for reoperation in primary but not in recurrent hernia repair. The Lichtenstein technique carried a significantly lower reoperation risk than any other method of operation.LA was associated with a higher risk of reoperation for recurrence after primary hernia repair. The use of mesh techniques has increased considerably, and among these the Lichtenstein repair was associated with a significantly lower risk for reoperation than any other repair.