Hernia. 2022 Nov 5. doi: 10.1007/s10029-022-02701-y. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Elective inguinal hernia repair is a ubiquitous procedure that carries risks; chronic pain and impacts on quality of life (QoL) must be considered when advising patients around repair. The length of time from surgery date and impacts on quality of life are often limited to only a few years of follow-up and despite hernia repair being quite common, long-term outcomes are not often reported.
METHODS: A cohort of patients who had received Lichtenstein inguinal hernia repair over the previous 10 years were contacted and surveyed using the Brief Pain Inventory Short Form (BPI) to assess chronic pain and its effects on their QoL. Patient and operative factors were correlated with pain through linear regression and t-test analysis provided statistical significance for mean comparisons (P < 0.05).
RESULTS: The rate of chronic pain was 17.2% with recurrence of 3.1% at an average post-operative interval of 5.84 years. Of the various metrics compared between groups, age was one of the only significant predictors of chronic pain with younger patients reporting higher pain. Further time from surgery also translated to significantly less pain with a difference of 1.3 years. BPI respondents identified pain that interfered to varying degrees in different aspects of life but had relatively low average magnitudes (range: 1.82/10-2.91/10).
CONCLUSIONS: These long-term considerations of post-surgical impact should be considered alongside potential benefits when advising patients about surgery and may help moderate post-operative expectations to optimize the outcome of common inguinal hernia repairs.