Effects of prophylactic ilioinguinal nerve excision in mesh groin hernia repair: short- and long-term follow-up of a randomized clinical trial

Nicola Crea, Giacomo Pata
American Surgeon 2010, 76 (11): 1275-81
We conducted a randomized clinical trial on the impact of prophylactic ilioinguinal nerve excision (INE) on neuralgia, hypoesthesia, and analgesia requirement after open herniorrhaphy as well as on sustainability of a selective approach. Ninety-seven consecutive patients undergoing a Lichtenstein procedure were treated with INE (n = 45) or preservation (NP) (n = 52). Impact of patients' age, gender, type of anesthesia, and hernia on outcomes was also evaluated by logistic regression analysis (LRA). Patients receiving INE reported less pain on postoperative days (POD) 1 and 7 and at 1 month and required less analgesia on POD 1. Overall younger patients (40 years old or younger) had more postoperative discomfort at LRA. Pain intensity was similar at 6 and 12 months after INE or NP: moderate to severe pain in 4.4 versus 11.5 per cent (P = 0.279) and 4.4 versus 9.6 per cent (P = 0.445), respectively. Hypoesthesia was more frequent after INE on POD 1 and 7:68.9 and 53.3 per cent versus 13.5 and 9.6 per cent, respectively (P < 0.0001), but no longer at 1 month: 11.1 versus 3.8 per cent (P = 0.244) as well as at 6 and 12 months (0% in both study groups). No further correlation was found by LRA. INE prevents inguinodynia up to 1 month follow-up regardless of patient variables. Moreover, the increase of hypoesthesia proved to be a short-term complication.

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