Quality-of-life scores in laparoscopic preperitoneal inguinal hernia repair

John E Wennergren, Margaret Plymale, Daniel Davenport, Salomon Levy, Jeffrey Hazey, Kyle A Perry, Kyle Stigall, J Scott Roth
Surgical Endoscopy 2016, 30 (8): 3467-73

BACKGROUND: Published support exists for using lightweight polypropylene mesh (PPM) to repair inguinal hernias with increased biocompatibility and decreased foreign body reaction and pain. However, quality of life (QOL) has not been assessed. We assess QOL in patients undergoing laparoscopic totally extraperitoneal hernia repair (TEP) with lightweight PPM.

METHODS: We performed an IRB-approved study of patients undergoing TEP hernia repair. Demographic information and hernia characteristics were collected perioperatively. Baseline Short Form-36 (SF-36), Carolinas Comfort Scale (CCS), and visual analog scale (VAS) for pain were performed preoperatively, and then after 1, 26, and 52 weeks.

RESULTS: Forty-eight patients undergoing TEP with mesh were selected. Average age was 43.2 years (SD = 13.2), and average BMI was 26.1 kg/m(2) (SD = 4.3). Procedures include bilateral hernia, right inguinal hernia, and left inguinal hernia repairs. Mean scores on the CCS(®) and VAS were low during the immediate post-op period and 1 year. SF-36 mean scores for body pain, physical function, and role physical showed decreases at the postoperative survey and then subsequent increases. Pain-associated scores increased during the immediate post-op period. CCS and SF-36 scores demonstrated improvement after 1 year. There was no significant difference in VAS. Bilateral repair patients reported more pain and reduced physical function versus unilateral repairs. Patients with larger mesh reported greater pain scores and reduced physical function scores.

CONCLUSIONS: Laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair is associated with initial declines in QOL in the postoperative period. Improvements appear in the long term. General health does not appear to be impacted by laparoscopic TEP. Smaller mesh and unilateral repairs are associated with improved QOL following laparoscopic TEP with PPM. Multiple metrics for QOL are required to reflect patient recovery.

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