JOURNAL ARTICLE

Algorithm for management of an incarcerated inguinal hernia in the emergency settings with manual reduction. Taxis, the technique and its safety

M Pawlak, B East, A C de Beaux
Hernia: the Journal of Hernias and Abdominal Wall Surgery 2021 May 25
34036484

BACKGROUND: An acute inguinal hernia remains a common emergency surgical condition worldwide. While emergency surgery has a major role to play in treatment of acute hernias, not all patients are fit for emergency surgery, nor are facilities for such surgery always available. Taxis is the manual reduction of incarcerated tissues from the hernia sack to its natural compartment, and can help delay the need for surgery from days to months. The aim of this study was to prepare a safe algorithm for performing manual reduction of incarcerated inguinal hernias in adults.

METHODS: Medline, Scopus, Ovid and Embase were searched for papers related to emergency inguinal hernias and manual reduction. In addition, the British National Formulary and Safe Sedation Practice for Healthcare Procedures: Standards and Guidance were reviewed.

RESULTS: A safe technique of manual reduction of an acute inguinal hernia, called GPS (Gentle, Prepared and Safe) Taxis, is described. It should be performed within 24 h from the onset of a painful irreducible lump in groin, and when concomitant symptoms and signs of bowel strangulation are absent. Conscious sedation guidelines should be followed. The most popular drug combination is of intravenous morphine and short-acting benzodiazepine, both titrated carefully for optimal and safe effect. The dose of drugs must be individualised, and the smallest effective dosage should be used to avoid oversedation. Following successful taxis, the patient should undergo a short period of observation. Urgent surgery can be undertaken during the same admission or up to several weeks later.

CONCLUSIONS: Taxis is a benign/non-invasive method for patients with an acute, non-strangulated inguinal hernias. It likely reduces the risk and complications of anaesthesia and surgery in the emergency settings. GPS Taxis should be considered as first line treatment in the majority of patients presenting with an acute inguinal hernia when existing bowel infarction is unlikely.

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