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Hernia. 2013 Aug;17(4):499-504. doi: 10.1007/s10029-013-1085-8. Epub 2013 Mar 31.

Local anaesthetic repair of uncomplicated paraumbilical hernia without sedation: peri-operative pain and patient satisfaction.

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Department of General Surgery, West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 2QZ, UK.



Paraumbilical hernia (PUH) is a common condition that usually requires surgical repair. However, there is a dearth of literature on this surgery performed under local anaesthesia (LA) without the use of sedation. The aims of this study were to assess peri-operative pain and patient satisfaction in patients undergoing PUH repair using LA without sedation.


All patients having PUH repair under a single consultant between January 2010 and December 2011 were eligible to participate. If eligible for both, patients chose either general anaesthetic (GA) or LA repair. If only eligible for either LA or GA, they were offered this anaesthetic modality. Visual analogue scales were used to report peri-operative pain (10 point score) and satisfaction (%). Results were compared by grade of surgeon (higher surgical trainee (HST) versus consultant).


A total of 63 patients underwent PUH repair (31 GA; 32 LA). Of them, only 28/32 of LA repair patients agreed to participate. LA and GA patients had equivalent age and sex distribution. LA patients had a lower body mass index (BMI) than GA [27.1 (3.7) versus 30.3 (5.1), p = 0.007]. The median length of LA procedure was 24 (17.5-30) minutes. The median LA solution infiltrated was 25 (20-32) ml. Peri-operative pain scores were low [1.1 (0.3-2.9) %] and patient satisfaction was high [96 (91-99) %]. There were no differences in pain, patient satisfaction, duration of procedure and amount of LA infiltrated with increasing BMI. Comparing HST to consultant, the former took longer [30 (25-36) versus 20 (16-24) minutes, p = 0.0007], infiltrated more LA [34.5 (26-47) versus 20 (19-25.5) ml, p = 0.0039], and patients reported more pain [2.75 (1.0-4.95) versus 0.4 (0.2-1.7) %, p = 0.029], but overall satisfaction was equivalent [95.5 (89-99.25) versus 96.3 (92.25-99) %, p = 0.684].


Open mesh PUH repair using LA without sedation is associated with low peri-operative pain and very high satisfaction when either a higher surgical trainee or a consultant grade is operating.

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