Background: The optimal management of symptomatic inguinal hernia (SIH) in cirrhotics is still undefined. Both hernia and cirrhosis impair quality of life (QOL). The aim of this study was to evaluate QOL by a Short Form-36 (SF-36) questionnaire in cirrhotic patients undergoing inguinal hernioplasty.
Methods: Thirty-two cirrhotic patients undergoing inguinal hernioplasty were evaluated. They were classified according to Child's class and to the absence or presence of refractory ascites. The SF-36 questionnaire was administered the day before and 6 months after surgery. Global analyses of the 8 domains of SF-36 and of 2 comprehensive indexes of SF-36, Physical Component Summary (PCS) and Mental Component Summary (MCS), were performed.
Results: Lichtenstein hernioplasty for SIH originated no major complications. All 8 domains of SF-36 and MCS and PCS scores improved remarkably after hernioplasty especially in patients in Child's class C and/or with refractory ascites.
Conclusions: Inguinal hernioplasty for SIH in patients with cirrhosis is a safe procedure. The improvement of QOL represents a clear cut indication for elective hernia repair.