The new worldwide guidelines of all international hernia societies only recommend the mesh-based methods TEP, TAPP and Lichtenstein. The best mesh-free technique, the Shouldice operation, should only be used if the patient has declined the use of a mesh or no mesh is available. The systematic use of the Shouldice technique for smaller inguinal hernias and younger men should be confined to study settings. A tailored approach should be taken for mesh-based procedures to minimize the risk to patients. Due to lower pain rates the laparoendoscopic techniques TEP and TAPP are the methods of choice for primary male unilateral inguinal hernia. They are also preferred for female patients as they improve the diagnostics of femoral hernias as well as for bilateral inguinal hernias in female and male patients. The Lichtenstein operation tends to be recommended for scrotal hernia, following previous pelvic surgery, vascular surgery, liver cirrhosis, radiotherapy and intolerance of general anesthesia. This also applies for recurrent hernia following a previous laparoendoscopic primary operation. Similarly, recurrent hernia after a primary suture or mesh procedure should be repaired using the TEP or TAPP technique. In emergency procedures for incarceration the diagnostic superiority of laparoscopy and the ability to reposition the incarcerated organs should be utilized. The inguinal hernia can then be repaired at the same time or later depending on whether there is any local infection.
Keywords: Emergency; Femoral hernia; Gender; Recurrence; Scrotal hernia; Tailored approach.