Whereas for TEP the guidelines do not recommend mesh fixation on the basis of meta-analyses regardless of the defect size, for TAPP mesh fixation can be omitted only up to a defect size of 3 cm because of the paucity of studies on this topic. Hence, this study now seeks to explore this subject on the basis of prospective data from the Herniamed Hernia Registry. In the period September 01, 2009, to January 31, 2014, 11,228 male patients were operated on with the TAPP technique for a primary unilateral inguinal hernia and were followed up for 1 year. Mesh fixation was used for 7422 (66.1 %) of these patients and no mesh fixation for 3806 patients (33.9 %). Unadjusted analysis did not find any significant difference in the recurrence rate (0.88 % with fixation vs. 1.1 % without fixation; p = 0.259). Multivariable analysis of all potential influence factors (age, ASA, BMI, risk factors, defect size, mesh fixation, localization of defect, mesh size) did not identify any factor that impacted recurrence on 1-year follow-up. Only for medial and combined defect localization versus lateral localization was a highly significant effect identified (p < 0.001). With mesh fixation and larger mesh size, it was possible to significantly reduce the recurrence rate for larger medial hernias in this series (p = 0.046). For TAPP repair of an inguinal hernia, mesh fixation is not necessary in a significant number of patients. Patients with a medial and combined hernia are at higher risk of recurrence. In the patient series analyzed, it was possible to significantly reduce the recurrence rate with mesh fixation and larger mesh size for medial defects.
Keywords: Inguinal hernia; Medial hernia; Mesh fixation; Recurrence; TAPP.