Disability and chronic pain after open mesh and laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair

Michael Bozuk, Rob Schuster, David Stewart, Kathrin Hicks, Gregory Greaney, Kenneth Waxman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Proponents of laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair maintain that the associated costs and risks are offset by faster recovery and less postoperative pain. It was our hypothesis that the incidence of chronic pain in both groups of our patients was not as high as reported in the literature. Patients for the study were identified from a community hospital medical record database. A total of 229 patients were available and agreed to participate in the study. Data collected included the patient's current pain level at the hernia site, pain medication currently used, narcotics currently used, return to normal work, and return to normal activity. Overall, 19.7 per cent of patients complained of mild pain, but only 2.2 per cent classified this as moderate or severe. Mild pain was noted more often in the open repair patients compared with the laparoscopic group. However, there was no difference in the frequency of moderate or severe pain. The time to return to work was longer in the open repair group than the laparoscopic repair group, but there were large ranges in both groups. The inability to return to full preoperative activity was infrequent and equivalent in both open and laparoscopic hernia repair groups. In our study of 229 patients undergoing elective open or laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair at a community hospital, we have found a low incidence of moderate or severe chronic pain. In addition, we found that this procedure did not interfere with return to work at 6 months or return to daily activities in either the laparoscopic or open repair group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)839-841
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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