What is the outcome of re-recurrent vs recurrent inguinal hernia repairs? An analysis of 16,206 patients from the Herniamed Registry

Hernia. 2020 Aug;24(4):811-819. doi: 10.1007/s10029-020-02138-1. Epub 2020 Feb 21.


Introduction: The proportion of recurrent repairs in the total collective of inguinal hernia repairs among men is 11.3-14.3% and among women 7.0-7.4%. The rate of re-recurrences is reported to be 2.9-9.2%. To date, no case series has been published on second and ≥ third recurrences and their treatment outcomes. Only case reports are available.

Materials and methods: In an analysis of data from the Herniamed Registry the perioperative and 1-year follow-up outcomes of 16,206 distinct patients who had undergone first recurrent (n = 14,172; 87.4%), second recurrent (n = 1,583; 9.8%) or ≥ third recurrent (n = 451; 2.8%) inguinal hernia repair between September 1, 2009 and July 1, 2017 were compared.

Results: The intraoperative complication rate for all recurrent repairs was between 1-2%. In the postoperative complications a continuous increase was observed (first recurrence: 3.97% vs second recurrence: 5.75% vs ≥ third recurrence 8.65%; p < 0.001). That applied equally to the complication-related reoperation rates (first recurrence: 1.50% vs second recurrence: 2.21% vs ≥ third recurrence 2.66; p = 0.020). Likewise, the re-recurrence rate rose significantly (first recurrence: 1.95% vs second recurrence: 2.72% vs ≥ third recurrence 3.77; p = 0.005). Similarly, the rate of pain requiring treatment rose highly significantly with an increasing number of recurrences (first recurrence: 5.21% vs second recurrence: 6.70% vs ≥ third recurrence 10.86; p = < 0.001).

Conclusion: The repair of re-recurrences in inguinal hernia is associated with increasingly more unfavorable outcomes. For the first recurrence the guidelines should definitely be noted. For a second and ≥ third recurrence diagnostic laparoscopy may help to select the best possible surgical technique.

Keywords: Chronic pain; Inguinal hernia; Outcome; Postoperative complications; Re-recurrence; Recurrence.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Hernia, Inguinal / surgery*
  • Herniorrhaphy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence
  • Registries
  • Reoperation / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome