A prospective, randomized comparison of long-term outcomes: chronic groin pain and quality of life following totally extraperitoneal (TEP) and transabdominal preperitoneal (TAPP) laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair

Virinder Kumar Bansal, Mahesh C Misra, Divya Babu, Jonathan Victor, Subodh Kumar, Rajesh Sagar, S Rajeshwari, Asuri Krishna, Vimi Rewari
Surgical Endoscopy 2013, 27 (7): 2373-82

BACKGROUND: Data are insufficient to compare transabdominal preperitoneal repair (TAPP) and total extraperitoneal (TEP) techniques of laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair. There is very scant data comparing the two techniques in terms of long-term outcomes, which include chronic groin pain, quality of life, and time to return to normal activity. This prospective, randomized, controlled trial compared TEP versus TAPP techniques of laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair in terms of these long-term outcomes.

METHODS: This study was conducted from May 1, 2007 to March 30, 2012. Patients with uncomplicated groin hernia were randomized to transabdominal preperitoneal (TAPP) or totally extraperitoneal (TEP) techniques. A total of 160 patients were randomized to group I (TEP) and 154 patients to group II (TAPP). Pain was assessed with Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) preoperatively and postoperatively at 24 h, 1 week, 6 weeks, 3, 6, and 12 months, and yearly thereafter. Quality of life was assessed with Short Form-36 version 2 (SF 36v2) preoperatively and postoperatively at 3 months follow-up.

RESULTS: Demographic, clinical profiles, intraoperative, and early postoperative parameters were well matched. There was significantly higher acute pain following TAPP repair; however, the chronic groin pain was comparable in both TEP and TAPP. Preoperative pain and immediate postoperative pain had significant correlation with chronic groin pain. Significant improvement from preoperative to postoperative quality of life was seen in both TEP and TAPP repairs, but there was no difference between TEP and TAPP in postoperative period. Time to return to normal activity also was similar between the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS: The TEP and TAPP techniques of laparoscopic repair of inguinal hernia have comparable long-term outcomes in terms of incidence of chronic groin pain, quality of life, and resumption of normal activities. Chronic groin pain had a significant correlation with preoperative pain and early postoperative pain. However, TAPP was associated with significantly higher incidence of early postoperative pain, longer operative time, and cord edema, whereas TEP was associated with a significant higher incidence of seroma formation. The cost was comparable between the two.

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