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Eur J Surg. 2002;168(1):22-8.

Recurrence and pain three years after groin hernia repair. Validation of postal questionnaire and selective physical examination as a method of follow-up.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, University Hospital, Linköping, Sweden. Staffan.Haapaniemi@lio.se

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate recurrence rate and chronic groin pain three years after hernia repair and to validate a postal questionnaire with selective physical examination as a method of follow-up.

DESIGN:

Prospective cohort study.

SETTING:

County hospital, Sweden.

PATIENTS:

Prospective data were retrieved from the Swedish Hernia Register for patients aged 15-80 years at the time of groin hernia repair, operated on during 1994.

INTERVENTIONS:

Three years after operation patients were mailed a three-item questionnaire and invited to have a physical examination. Those examined answered a detailed questionnaire about pain and functional impairment. When appropriate an extended physical examination was undertaken to find out the probable cause of the pain.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Recurrence, pain, and functional impairment.

RESULTS:

272 hernias were repaired in 264 patients. 24 patients had died and 16 had a recurrence before the follow-up examination. After a median observation time of 44 months, 218 patients with 223 repairs (96%) were examined. Depending on the definition of recurrence and completeness of physical examination (selective or all patients) the recurrence rate varied between 10% (25/239) and 15% (35/239) including recurrences diagnosed before follow-up. 40 patients (18%) reported groin pain at follow-up, which was considered to be caused by a previous hernia repair in 34 (15%), 12 of whom (5%) had moderate or severe pain. Postoperative complications were associated with an increased risk of chronic pain, whereas type of hernia and use of mesh had no influence.

CONCLUSIONS:

The incidence of recurrence and chronic pain after hernia repair requires continuous audit in non-specialised units. Participation in a register and follow-up by a three-item questionnaire and selective physical examination provides a solid basis for quality control.

PMID:
12022367
DOI:
10.1080/110241502317307535
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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