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Review
. 2002 Aug;72(8):573-9.
doi: 10.1046/j.1445-2197.2002.02475.x.

Inguinal Hernia Repair: Where to Next?

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Review

Inguinal Hernia Repair: Where to Next?

Martina Zib et al. ANZ J Surg. .

Abstract

Background: Hernia repair is one of the most frequently performed operations in general surgery - a total of 39 000 elective inguinal hernia repairs were performed in public and private hospitals in Australia between July 1998 and June 1999 - and, as such, even minor alterations in outcome and resource use have appreciable impact. However, decisions regarding choice of operation for hernia repair remain controversial. The purpose of the present paper is to critically evaluate the evidence available regarding recently introduced open mesh repair techniques and to try to identify meaningful directions for future hernia research.

Methods: A thorough search of all published surgical literature was undertaken. Medline, EMBASE and the Cochrane databases were searched by title, by key words and by author. References in review articles and in textbooks were pursued. The manufacturing companies were contacted for trials evaluating their product.

Results: Eight original articles evaluating either the Kugel Patch, the PerFix Plug or the Prolene Hernia System were located. None of these trials directly compared two or more of these repair systems. To date, there has been no published review of the evidence regarding the newer mesh repair techniques. With one exception, all of these articles qualify as Level IV evidence. Highlighted is the lack of evidence regarding chronic significant posthernioplasty pain - this has an incidence of 6-12%. This complication is 3-5 times more common than recurrence after open repair, is clinically relevant, is poorly understood and has been poorly studied. Arguably it is a more important end point than recurrence.

Conclusion: Only one study comparing the newer techniques of open hernia repair (PerFix Plug) constitutes level II evidence. The PerFix Plug appears to be quicker to insert and uses a smaller incision. Chronic significant posthernioplasty pain is a more important endpoint in hernia research than is recurrence, and this review concludes with a proposal for a multicentre, randomized, controlled trial evaluating the incidence of chronic significant posthernioplasty pain following elective mesh repair of primary, unilateral -hernias.

Comment in

  • Inguinal hernia repair: where to next?
    Amid PK. Amid PK. ANZ J Surg. 2003 May;73(5):352; author reply 352-3. doi: 10.1046/j.1445-2197.2003.02598.x. ANZ J Surg. 2003. PMID: 12752296 No abstract available.

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