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Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2010 Apr;92(3):201-5. doi: 10.1308/003588410X12628812458455.

Five-year prospective follow-up of 430 laparoscopic totally extraperitoneal inguinal hernia repairs in 275 patients.

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Department of General Surgery, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Gloucester, UK.



Favourable short-term results, with respect to less postoperative pain and earlier return to physical activity, have been demonstrated with laparoscopic totally extraperitoneal (TEP) hernia repair compared with open mesh repair. However, there is limited data regarding long-term results.


The study cohort consisted of 275 consecutive patients undergoing TEP repair between 1996 and 2002. Patient demographics, details of surgery, postoperative complications, recurrence and chronic pain were collected from patient records and from a prospective database. All patients were seen at 6 weeks and then annually for 5 years following surgery.


A total of 430 repairs were performed in the 275 patients (median age, 56 years; range, 20-94 years; men, 97.5%). Bilateral repair was performed in 168 patients (61.1%) and recurrent hernia repair in 79 patients (28.7%). Two patients were converted to an open procedure. Five-year follow-up was achieved in 72% of patients. Eleven patients (4%) died during the follow-up period due to unrelated causes. Hernia recurrence rate at 5 years was 1.1% per patient (three repairs). Recurrences were noted at 7 months, 2 years and 4 years following surgery. Chronic groin pain was reported by 21 patients (7.6%), seven of whom required referral to the pain team.


TEP hernia repair is associated with a recurrence rate of 1% at 5 years in this series. Chronic groin symptoms are also acceptably few. This recurrence rate following TEP repair compares extremely favourably with open mesh repair, particularly as it includes a high proportion of recurrent repairs. As well as the proven early benefits, TEP repair can be considered a safe and durable procedure with excellent long-term results.

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