Preoperative pain in patient with an inguinal hernia predicts long-term quality of life

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Abstract

Background.

Patients presenting for inguinal hernia repair report a wide range of pain. We hypothesized that patients presenting with less preoperative pain would experience a greater improvement in long-term quality of life after an inguinal hernia repair.

Methods.

A total of 54 patients underwent either laparoscopic or open inguinal hernia repair and completed the Short Form 12 (SF-12) survey both preoperatively and 6 to 12 months after their repair. The physical and mental component scores (PCS and MCS) were calculated from the SF-12. Patients also completed an analog surgical pain scale. t Tests and analyses of covariance were used. A preoperative surgical pain scale score of >12 was representative of moderate to severe pain.

Results.

Regardless of preoperative pain, there was improvement in long-term PCS quality of life (45.4 ± 11.3 vs 50.1 ± 9.1; P < .0001) that was not noted when assessing MCS quality of life (55.0 ± 8.3 vs 54.7 ± 9.4; P = .76). Patients who reported no or a low amount of preoperative pain experienced improved PCS quality of life compared with patients who reported moderate to severe preoperative pain (P = .048). This relationship was not noted with MCS (P = .16).

Conclusion.

This study suggests that patients presenting for inguinal hernia repair with no or low pain are more likely to experience improved physical function quality of life as a result of the herniorrhaphy.

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