Lower recurrence rate with heavyweight mesh compared to lightweight mesh in laparoscopic totally extra-peritoneal (TEP) repair of groin hernia: a nationwide population-based register study

Hernia. 2018 Dec;22(6):989-997. doi: 10.1007/s10029-018-1809-x. Epub 2018 Aug 24.


Purpose: Lightweight meshes (LWM) have shown benefits compared to heavyweight meshes (HWM) in terms of less postoperative pain and stiffness in open inguinal hernia repair. It appears to have similar advantages also in TEP, but concerns exist if it may be associated with higher recurrence rates. The aim of the study was to compare reoperation rate for recurrence of LWM to HWM in laparoscopic totally extra-peritoneal (TEP) repair.

Methods: All groin hernias operated on with TEP between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2013 at surgical units participating in The Swedish Hernia Register were eligible. Data included clinically important hernia variables. Primary endpoint was reoperation for recurrence. Median follow-up time was 6.1 years (0-11.5) with minimum 2.5 years postoperatively.

Results: In total, 13,839 repairs were included for statistical analysis and 491 were re-operated for recurrence. Multivariate analysis demonstrated significantly increased risk of reoperation for recurrence in LWM 4.0% (HR 1.56, P < 0.001) compared to HWM 3.2%. This was most evident in direct hernias (HR 1.75, P < 0.001) and in hernia repairs with a defect > 3 cm (HR 1.54, P < 0.021). The risk of recurrence with use of LWM in indirect hernias and in hernia repairs with a defect < 1.5 cm was more comparable to HWM.

Conclusions: Lightweight meshes were associated with an increased risk of reoperation for recurrence compared to HWM. While direct hernias and larger hernia defects may benefit from HWM to avoid increased recurrence rates, LWM is recommended to be used in indirect and smaller hernia defects in TEP repair.

Keywords: Groin hernia repair; Heavyweight mesh; Lightweight mesh; TEP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hernia, Inguinal / epidemiology
  • Hernia, Inguinal / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence
  • Registries
  • Reoperation*
  • Surgical Mesh*
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Young Adult