The treatment of complicated groin and incisional hernias

World J Surg. Sep-Oct 1989;13(5):545-54. doi: 10.1007/BF01658869.


One hundred years ago, Edoardo Bassini said: "L'ernia é una malattia meccanica." Before that, Ambroise Paré (1598) and Joseph-Pierre Desault (1798) asserted the mechanical nature of strangulation. Beside strangulation, the most serious of all complications even today, I have studied huge hernias, which are natural complications, and recurrent hernias, which are the complications of suboptimal repairs. In this article, I consider the general features and diagnostic and technical consequences of the repair of groin and incisional hernias. The treatment of strangulating hernias, usually an emergency operation, has not seen any recent technical progress. Huge and recurrent hernias, however, usually allow time for adequate surgical preparation. These hernias are also amenable to modern prosthetic repairs. In prosthetic repairs, large pieces of polyester mesh are inserted beneath the muscular wall outside the peritoneum. They act as artificial, nonabsorbable endoabdominal fascia, making the abdominal wall instantly and definitively pressure tight. The state of hernial surgery has advanced to the point that one must consider the systematic surgical cure of all diagnosed hernias.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Hernia, Femoral / complications
  • Hernia, Femoral / surgery*
  • Hernia, Inguinal / complications
  • Hernia, Inguinal / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Recurrence
  • Reoperation
  • Risk Factors
  • Surgical Mesh
  • Surgical Wound Dehiscence / surgery