Background: Increased focus and research on surgical technique and anaesthesia in groin hernia repair have improved outcomes from centres of interest in hernia surgery, but little information is available from nationwide data to document the incorporation of scientific evidence into general clinical practice.
Aim: To review outcomes after groin hernia repair in Denmark from the Danish Hernia Database 1998-2005 in 87,840 patients.
Results: The nationwide Danish hernia collaboration with two annual meetings discussing own results and those of others has led to >50% reduction in reoperation rates, increased use of the Lichtenstein hernia technique, higher rate of outpatient surgery, near elimination of regional anaesthesia, and documentation and focus on incidence and mechanisms of chronic pain.
Conclusion: Establishment of nationwide groin hernia databases leads to general improvement in outcomes and, due to the large number of patients, allows analyses of specific sub-groups or complications which otherwise could not be obtained from single centres. Nationwide collaboration is important for multi-centre research and further improvement of outcomes, especially in chronic pain.