Introduction: Immunosuppressive conditions and/or preoperative corticosteroid treatment have a negative influence on wound healing and can, therefore, lead to higher rates of surgical site infections (SSIs) and seromas. For inguinal hernia, no such studies have been carried out to date.
Methods: In an analysis of data from the Herniamed Registry, 2312 of 142,488 (1.6%) patients with primary unilateral inguinal hernia repair had an anamnestic history of an immunosuppressive condition and/or preoperative corticosteroid treatment. Using propensity score matching, 2297 (99.4%) pairs with comparative patient characteristics were formed. These were then compared using the following primary outcome criteria: intra- and postoperative complications, complication-related reoperations, recurrence at one-year follow-up, pain on exertion, pain at rest, and chronic pain requiring treatment at one-year follow-up. Of the 2297 matched pairs with primary unilateral inguinal hernia repair, 82.76% were male patients. 1010 (44.0%) were operated in laparo-endoscopic techniques (TEP, TAPP), 1225 (53.3%) in open techniques (Bassini, Shouldice, Lichtenstein, Plug, TIP, Gilbert, Desarda), and 62 (2.7%) in other techniques.
Results: The matched pair analysis results did not identify any disadvantage in terms of the outcome criteria for patients with an anamnestic history of immunosuppressive condition and/or preoperative corticosteroid treatment (yes vs no). In particular, no disadvantage was noted in the rate of surgical site infections (0.65% vs 0.70%; ns) or seromas (1.22% vs 1.57%; ns). The overall rates of postoperative complications were 3.40% vs 4.31% (p = ns) (plus 0.22% concordant events in five matched pairs).
Conclusion: In primary unilateral inguinal hernia surgery, an immunosuppressive condition and/or preoperative corticosteroid treatment does not appear to have a negative influence on wound complications.
Keywords: Complication; Corticosteroid treatment; Immunosuppression; Inguinal hernia; Seroma; Surgical side infection.