Background: Chronic pain as a complication following inguinal herniorrhaphy has attracted increasing attention in recent years. There is evidence that the chronic pain seriously affects patients' quality of life. However, there are few imaging studies and diagnostic techniques of the chronic pain. The aim of this study is to explore the etiology and to analysis ultrasonographic imaging description of chronic pain following anterior open inguinal herniorrhaphy.
Methods: One hundred fifty two patients with the chronic pain following anterior open inguinal herniorrhaphy were performed by ultrasonography to identify the main causes of postoperative chronic pain. Positive ultrasonic diagnoses were confirmed to be correct by the pain relieved when the patients underwent re-operation and other clinical operations. Positive diagnoses which appeared simultaneously were grouped for pairwise comparisons.
Results: Two hundred sixteen positive ultrasonic diagnoses, 12 categories of postoperative chronic pain were found. They were encapsulated effusion, scrotal wall edema, testitis, hydrocele testis, restricted motion of spermatic cord at the reconstructed deep inguinal ring, varicocele, scar sutured into pubic tubercle, shrinking mesh, accumulational mesh or mesh plug, recurrent hernia, cyst of spermatic cord and epididymal cyst. In the pairwise comparison groups, encapsulated effusion with scrotal wall edema, varicocele with restricted motion of spermatic cord at the reconstructed deep inguinal ring, and shrinking mesh with recurrent hernia had significant differences in each intragroup comparisons(P < 0.05).
Conclusions: Ultrasonography provieds important value in the diagnosis of chronic pain following anterior open inguinal herniorrhaphy. Some positive diagnoses occur simultaneously, which is necessary for doctors to consider comprehensively.
Keywords: Anterior open inguinal herniorrhaphy; Chronic pain; Ultrasonography.