Removal of Transabdominal Sutures for Chronic Pain After Laparoscopic Ventral and Incisional Hernia Repair

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Some patients who have undergone laparoscopic repair of ventral and incisional hernia have persistent postoperative pain, assumed to be caused by the presence of transabdominal sutures (TAS). We investigated whether removal of these sutures relieves discomfort. Of 375 patients who underwent laparoscopic repair of ventral and incisional hernia, 6 patients (1.6%) had persistent pain resistant to conservative therapy. These patients underwent relaparoscopy and removal of TAS at all apparent pain sites. Postoperatively, 3 patients had complete pain relief. Two patients had some improvement but moderate, less localized, pain remained. The sixth patient experienced no change at all. Removal of TAS deemed responsible for pain may occasionally provide relief, but the results of removal seem unpredictable and less effective than previously assumed.

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