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Anaesthetic practice for groin hernia repair – A nation-wide study in Denmark 1998–2003

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Recent scientific data suggest that local infiltration anaesthesia for inguinal hernia surgery may be preferable compared to general anaesthesia and regional anaesthesia, since it is cheaper and with less urinary morbidity. Regional anaesthesia may have specific side-effects and is without documented advantages on morbidity in this small operation. Methods: 

To describe the use of the three anaesthetic techniques for elective open groin hernia surgery in Denmark from January 1st 1998 to December 31st 2003, based on the Danish Hernia Database collaboration. Results: 

In a total of 57,505 elective open operations 63.6% were performed in general anaesthesia, 18.3% in regional anaesthesia and 18.1% in local anaesthesia. Regional anaesthesia was utilized with an increased rate in elderly and hospitalized patients. Outpatient surgery was most common with local infiltration anaesthesia. Conclusion: 

Use/choice of anaesthesia for groin hernia repair is not in accordance with recent scientific data. Use of spinal anaesthesia should be reduced and increased use of local anaesthesia is recommended to enhance recovery and reduce costs.

Keywords: Anaesthesia; hernia; local anaesthesia; spinal anaesthesia

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: The Danish Hernia Database, Department of Surgical Gastroenterology, Hvidovre University Hospital, Denmark and

Publication date: February 1, 2005


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