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Int Surg. 2011 Jul-Sep;96(3):233-8.

Comparison of Lichtenstein and laparoscopic transabdominal preperitoneal repair of recurrent inguinal hernias.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Tbilisi State Medical University and Kipshidze Central University Hospital, Tbilisi, Georgia.


The aim of our study was the comparative analysis of the results of two surgical methods: tension-free repair by the Lichtenstein technique and laparoscopic transabdominal preperitoneal (TAPP) repair. In total 52 patients with recurrent inguinal hernia were randomly assigned to the two groups: Lichtenstein (28 patients) and TAPP (24 patients). Comparisons between these groups were done by several preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative factors. For postoperative factors both short-term and long-term results were considered. Average operation time for Lichtenstein group was 59.6 +/- 9.9 minutes, compared with 64.4 +/- 8.4 minutes for TAPP patients (P = 0.068). In TAPP patients there was less pain in the postoperative period (P = 0.002) and fewer sick-leave days (13.4 +/- 1.7 versus 17.5 +/- 2.6 days; P < 0.001) and, correspondingly, faster recovery. In the Lichtenstein group a total of 4 postoperative complications (infection, hematoma, seroma, urinary retention) were observed, compared with 8 in the TAPP group (P = 0.19). Statistically significant difference was only by urinary retention (0 for Lichtenstein, 4 for TAPP; P = 0.039). There were no cases of hernia recurrence observed during the followup. Chronic pain developed in 5 patients from the Lichtenstein group (17.9%) and 2 patients from the TAPP group (8.3%; P = 0.28) more than 1 year after the operation; 4 Lichtenstein patients (14.3%) and 1 TAPP patient (4.2%; P = 0.23) more than 2 years after the operation; and 3 Lichtenstein patients (10.7%) and 1 TAPP patient (4.2%; P = 0.36) more than 3 years after the operation. For the treatment of recurrent inguinal hernias, which are developed after use of conventional (nonmesh) methods, the first choice should be given to the laparoscopic method, especially for young, physically active, nonobese patients, and if there are any contraindications for the laparoscopy, the Lichtenstein approach should be recommended.

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