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Hernia. 2013 Jun;17(3):347-53. doi: 10.1007/s10029-013-1059-x. Epub 2013 Mar 22.

Surgical treatment of chronic pain after inguinal hernia repair.

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  • 1University of Insubria, Varese, Italy. giampiero.campanelli@grupposandonato.it



Chronic groin pain is defined as pain arising 3-6 months after inguinal hernia repair that can compromise the patient's quality of life. Many articles in the literature report clinical presentation, but there are no well-defined indications and protocols of treatment.


Forty-six patients underwent surgical treatment for chronic groin pain that consisted of a simultaneous double approach, anterior and posterior, to the inguinal region, with 44 triple neurectomies and 2 iliohypogastric neurectomies. Ilio-inguinal and ilio-hypogastric nerves were resected by anterior approach, while genitofemoral trunk was resected by a posterior pre-peritoneal approach. Mesh was removed in 24 cases, and mesh and plug were removed in 16 cases. A new mesh repair was performed in 42 cases. All the patients were examined 1 week, 1 month and 1 year postoperatively.


In 40 patients, the surgical treatment has obtained good response with improvement or complete resolution of the pain. Two patients referred persistent groin pain different from preoperative and in 4 cases the pain persisted without substantial benefit. Mean VAS value was 7.89 before surgery and 1.89 after surgery.


Choice of the adequate therapy of chronic groin pain after inguinal hernia repair is still controversial. Our surgical approach turned out to be a safe and effective procedure. In this way, an accurate exploration of the whole inguinal region can be performed along with the identification of the nerves involved. Anyway in a certain number of cases, the resolution of pain cannot be achieved; this suggests a possible involvement of differences in the single personality and tolerances of pain in the different patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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