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Hernia. 2005 May;9(2):178-83. Epub 2004 Nov 26.

Intestinal obstruction after inguinal and femoral hernia repair: a study of 33,275 operations during 1992-2000 in Sweden.

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Department of Surgery, Södertälje Hospital, SE-152 86 , Södertälje, Sweden.


The risk of intra-abdominal intestinal obstruction after open or laparoscopic hernioplasty is, to our knowledge, not known. The transabdominal laparoscopic (TAPP) route brings a potential risk of abdominal adhesions, which may increase the risk of postoperative intestinal obstruction. The pre-peritoneal route laparoscopically, totally extraperitoneal laparoscopic hernioplasty (TEP), should not increase this risk since the abdominal cavity is not entered. The Swedish Hernia Register, with 33,275 patients operated on for single primary unilateral groin hernia during the period 1992-2000, was linked to the Swedish Inpatient register and the Swedish Death register for the period 1987-2000. The risk of postoperative intestinal obstruction was low, 1.02 per 1,000 personyears. The highest adjusted relative risks (RR) were found in patients with previous admissions for abdominal inflammations or operations. The risk increased with the number of admissions. After an acute operation, and in patients older than 60 years, there was also a significantly increased risk. The RR was 2.79 (95% CI 1.01-7.42) after TAPP and 0.57 (95% CI 0.07-4.33) following TEP compared to patients operated on by the Lichtenstein method. None of the patients undergoing open hernia operations had a significantly increased risk. TAPP increased the risk of postoperative intestinal obstruction, but other risk factors, especially previous abdominal surgery or inflammation, have greater influence.

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