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Combined Open and Laparoscopic Approach to Chronic Pain after Inguinal Hernia Repair

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Chronic groin pain is the most frequent long-term complication after inguinal hernia repair affecting up to 34 per cent of patients. Traditional surgical management includes groin exploration, mesh removal, and neurectomy. We evaluate outcomes of a combined laparoscopic and open approach to chronic pain after inguinal herniorrhaphy. All patients undergoing surgical exploration for chronic pain after inguinal herniorrhaphy were analyzed. In most, the operation consisted of mesh removal (open or laparoscopic), neurectomy, and placement of mesh in the opposite location of the first mesh (laparoscopic if the first was open and vice-versa). Main outcome measures included pain status, numbness, and hernia recurrence. Twenty-one patients (16 male and 5 female) with a mean age of 41 years (22–51 years) underwent surgical treatment for unilateral (n = 18) or bilateral (n = 3) groin pain. Percutaneous nerve block was unsuccessful in all patients. Four had previous surgery for pain. There were no complications. With a minimum of 6 weeks follow-up, 20 of 21 patients reported significant improvement or resolution of symptoms. A combined laparoscopic and open approach for postherniorrhaphy groin pain results in excellent patient satisfaction with minimal morbidity. It may be the preferred technique for the definitive management of chronic neuralgia after hernia repair.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: From the Division of Gastrointestinal and Minimally Invasive Surgery, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication date: August 1, 2008

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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