Purpose: The association of postoperative patient-reported outcomes and type of mesh fixation during minimally invasive inguinal hernia repair has not been well characterized. We aimed to compare the 30-day quality of life outcomes between various mesh fixation techniques utilizing the AHSQC prospective registry.
Methods: All minimally invasive inguinal hernias with completed 30-day follow-up were abstracted from the AHSQC, excluding patients with primary indication for surgery being chronic groin pain. Mesh fixation was categorized as (1) atraumatic fixation (AF) (2) traumatic non-suture (TNS), (3) traumatic suture (TS). Our outcomes of interest were pain at site at 30-day and EuraHS quality of life assessment.
Results: After applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, 864 patients had surgical site pain and quality of life outcomes reported; 253 (AF), 451 (TNS), and 160 (TS). After adjusting for identified confounders, there was no statistically significant difference between any fixation method when evaluating pain as a binary variable (Yes/No). However, when looking at the EuraHS evaluation for pain and quality of life outcomes, AF was associated with better scores than both TNS and TS fixation in the cosmetic, restrictions, and overall EuraHS domains. AF was only better than TS fixation in the pain domain.
Conclusion: Our study suggests that AF had a significantly improved hernia-specific quality of life in all domains at 30-days postoperatively. We also identified that pain as a binary variable is inadequate for its states purpose. Thus, the overall well-being and morbidity should be taken into account when evaluating hernia patients postoperatively.
Keywords: EuraHS; Inguinal hernia; Patient-reported outcomes; Quality of life.