Purpose: As the ultimate procedure which each surgeon decides to perform for a unilateral uncomplicated inguinal hernia remains controversial, we queried the Americas Hernia Society Quality Collaborative (AHSQC) database to report the collective experience of surgeons in the United States whom contribute to AHSQC to provide a view of the surgical approaches performed.
Methods: The AHSQC data registry was queried for all adult patients who underwent a primary, unilateral, elective, inguinal hernia repair. A retrospective review was conducted to analyze patient demographics, hernia characteristics, operative details, and post-operative outcomes. Our main outcomes of interest were 30-day surgical site infections (SSI), surgical site occurrences (SSO), 30-day patient-reported outcomes, and 1-year recurrence rates.
Results: 4613 patients met inclusion criteria. 1925 were repaired using an open technique (42%), 1841 were repaired using a laparoscopic technique (40%), and 847 were repaired using a robotic technique (18%). The Shouldice technique remains the most common tissue-based repair performed in the AHSQC. The Lichtenstein repair is the most common open mesh-based repair. Minimally invasive approaches to unilateral inguinal hernia repairs remained very common in our series. The robotic approach accounted for nearly one-third of the minimally invasive inguinal hernia repairs.
Conclusion: In general, all of the repair techniques reported similar and low rates of 30-day complications. The AHSQC continues on-going efforts to improve long-term follow-up and looks forward to addressing long-term outcomes such as recurrence and chronic pain with increasing data acquisition.
Keywords: Americas Hernia Society Quality Collaborative; Elective; Inguinal hernia repair; Primary; Unilateral.