Background: Laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair is preferred over an open technique because of reduced recovery time, favorable cost effectiveness, and less chronic postoperative inguinal pain. Nevertheless, some patients develop a nociceptive inguinal pain syndrome possibly related to the presence of the mesh. This is the first study describing feasibility, safety, and effectiveness of laparoscopic mesh removal in patients with chronic pain after endoscopic hernia repair.
Methods: Pre- and intraoperative data of chronic pain patients scheduled for endoscopic mesh removal were prospectively collected by a standard evaluation form. Long-term efficacy was determined using pain scores, patient satisfaction, and quality of life questionnaire. A Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to determine significant differences between pre- and postoperative pain scores.
Results: Fourteen patients were studied (11 males, median 52 years). Median operating time was 103 min. Conversion to open surgery was not required. One intraoperatively recognized bladder laceration was laparoscopically closed. Otherwise, no intraoperative or postoperative complications occurred. Eight months postoperatively (median), pain scores had dropped from eight to four (p < 0.01). Satisfaction was good or excellent in ten patients. A recurrent hernia developed in two patients requiring an open mesh repair in one.
Conclusions: Laparoscopic mesh removal is a feasible, safe, and effective option in selected patients with chronic groin pain after endoscopic hernia repair in the hands of an experienced surgeon.
Keywords: Chronic pain; Hernia, inguinal; Herniorrhaphy; Laparoscopy; Pain; Postoperative; Surgical mesh.