, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 31-35
Date: 26 Sep 2006

Amyand’s hernia: a report of 18 consecutive patients over a 15-year period

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Abstract

Aim

The presence of a vermiform appendix in an inguinal hernia sac is termed Amyand’s hernia. It may present as a tender inguinal or inguino-scrotal swelling and is often misdiagnosed as an incarcerated or strangulated hernia. The purpose of this study was to review the management of Amyand’s hernia at a single institution since 1991.

Material and methods

A retrospective analysis was undertaken of 18 consecutive patients with an Amyand’s hernia operated upon at our institution from 1991 to 2005. Patients’ demographics, treatment and postoperative outcome were analysed.

Results

There were 17 men and one woman. Their median age was 42 years. None of the patients was diagnosed preoperatively. The commonest presenting symptom was painful inguinal or inguino-scrotal swelling (83%). All patients, therefore, underwent emergency surgery with a presumptive diagnosis of either incarcerated or strangulated inguinal hernia. Operative findings included 11 normal appendices, four inflamed appendices and three perforated appendices in the inguinal hernial sac. Patients with a normal appendix (n = 11) had a mesh hernia repair without an appendicectomy. The rest of the patients (n = 7) with an abnormal appendix underwent emergency open appendicectomy followed by Bassini’s sutured hernia repair. One patient died in the postoperative period of pneumonia. Only one recurrent hernia has been detected, with a median follow-up time of 6.4 years.

Conclusion

The inflammatory status of the appendix determines the type of hernia repair and the surgical approach. Incidental appendicectomy in the case of a normal appendix is not favoured.