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Outcome of laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair in a South African private practice setting

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Objectives. The aim of this study was to determine the recurrence and complication rates of laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair performed in a private practice in Cape Town. Design and subjects. An unselected cohort of 507 patients who underwent laparoscopic totally extraperitoneal (TEP) inguinal hernia repair before September 2005 were included in this study, thus ensuring a minimum 5-year follow-up. Patient demographic data, clinical notes, operating notes and outpatient follow-up notes were studied. Patients were interviewed telephonically regarding hernia recurrence, chronic pain and technique preference if they had previously undergone an open repair. All data collected were recorded on an electronic spreadsheet. The primary outcome parameter was recurrence. The secondary outcome parameters were postoperative and long-term complications. Results. Of the 507 patients, 267 were contactable telephonically. There were 384 hernia repairs with a mean follow-up of 8.8 years. There were 9 recurrences (2.3%). The overall complication rate was 7.9%. Two per cent of patients suffered from chronic groin pain with gradual improvement since surgery. Sixteen per cent of patients had had previous open repair of an inguinal hernia, either on the ipsilateral or the contralateral side, and all judged the open repair to have been more painful. Conclusions. The recurrence and complication rates for laparoscopic TEP inguinal hernia repair in this practice are low and comparable to the best reported series. There is a low incidence of persistent postoperative pain with the laparoscopic technique, and it is the technique preferred by patients who previously underwent an open repair.


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