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Int Surg. 1994 Jan-Mar;79(1):76-9.

A critical evaluation of the Lichtenstein tension-free hernioplasty.

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Department of Surgery, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California.


All standard methods of hernia repair involve suturing together tissues which are not normally in apposition. This violates the basic surgical principle that tissue must never be approximated under tension and accounts for an unacceptable number of failures. Total reinforcement of the inguinal floor with a sheet of suitable biomaterial and employment of a "tension-free" technique is a more effective approach. Since June of 1984, 3,250 primary inguinal hernias have been repaired at the Lichtenstein Hernia Institute by the open "tension-free" technique using Marlex mesh. The patients were followed from one to 8 years by physician examination. The follow-up rate was 87%. There were four recurrences. The causes of recurrence and how to avoid them are discussed.

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