Introduction: On the basis of six meta-analyses, the guidelines of the European Hernia Society (EHS) recommend laparo-endoscopic recurrent repair following previous open inguinal hernia operation and, likewise, open repair following previous laparo-endoscopic operation. So far no data are available on implementation of the guidelines or for comparison of outcomes. Besides, there are no studies for comparison of outcomes for compliance versus non-compliance with the guidelines.
Patients and methods: In total, 4812 patients with elective unilateral recurrent inguinal hernia repair in men were enrolled between September 1, 2009, and September 17, 2014, in the Herniamed Registry. Only patients with 1-year follow-up were included.
Results: Out of the 2482 laparo-endoscopic recurrent repair operations 90.5% of patients, and out of the 2330 open recurrent repair procedures only 38.5% of patients, were operated on in accordance with the guidelines of the EHS. Besides, on compliance with the guidelines multivariable analysis demonstrated for laparo-endoscopic recurrent repair a significantly lower risk of pain at rest (OR 0.643 [0.476; 0.868]; p = 0.004) and pain on exertion (OR 0.679 [0.537; 0.857]; p = 0.001). Comparison of laparo-endoscopic and open recurrent repair in settings of compliance versus non-compliance with the guidelines showed a higher incidence of perioperative complications and re-recurrences for recurrent repairs that did not comply with the guidelines.
Conclusion: The EHS guidelines for recurrent inguinal hernia repair are not yet being observed to the extent required. Non-compliance with the guidelines is associated with higher perioperative complication rates and higher risk of re-recurrence. Even on compliance with the guidelines, the risk of pain at rest and pain on exertion is higher after open recurrent repair than after laparo-endoscopic repair.
Keywords: Endoscopic repair; Inguinal hernia; Pain; Postoperative complications; Recurrence.