Laparo-endoscopic versus open recurrent inguinal hernia repair: should we follow the guidelines?
INTRODUCTION The repair of the recurrent hernia is a daunting task because of already weakened tissues and distorted anatomy. Open posterior preperitoneal approach gives results far superior to those of the anterior approach. Laparoscopic transabdominal preperitoneal (TAPP) inguinal hernia repair is an evolving technique associated with advantages of a minimally invasive approach. The present work aimed at comparing these three approaches for repair of recurrent inguinal hernia regarding complications and early recurrence. MATERIALS AND METHODS A total of 180 patients were divided randomly into three equal groups: A, B, and C. Group A patients were subjected to open posterior preperitoneal approach , those of group B were subjected to transinguinal anterior tension-free repair and group C patients were subjected to TAPP. The primary end point was recurrence and the secondary end points were time off from work, postoperative pain, scrotal swelling, and wound infections. RESULTS The mean hospital stay, the mean time to return to work and the mean time off from work were less in group C then A and B. Chronic postoperative pain was observed in eight patients in group A (13.33%), in 18 patients in group B (30%) and six patients in group C (10%). The overall complication rate was 19.7% in both groups A and C and 34.36% in group B. CONCLUSION In recurrent inguinal hernia, the laparoscopic and open posterior approaches are equally effective in term of operative outcome. The open preperitoneal hernia repair is inexpensive, has a low recurrence rate. Postoperative recovery is short and postoperative pain is minimal. This approach gives results far superior to those of the commonly used anterior approach. However, while laparoscopic hernia repair requires a lengthy learning curve and is difficult to learn and perform, it has advantages of less post-operative pain, early recovery with minimal hospital stay, low post-operative complications and recurrence. TRIAL REGISTRATION ACTRN12613001050741.