Chronic pain after Kugel inguinal hernia repair
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The incidence of chronic pain after Kugel herniorrhaphy is not well documented, since it was not used as a primary outcome measure in studies reporting on the Kugel technique. The aim of the present study was to report on the incidence and severity of chronic pain 1 year after Kugel herniorrhaphy and to identify the risk factors associated with the development of chronic pain.
The study population comprised all patients in our teaching hospital who underwent a Kugel inguinal hernia repair between January 2002 and June 2005. Postoperative complications, analgesia consumption and postoperative functional impairment were recorded during an outpatient clinic after 4–6 weeks. Chronic pain and cutaneous sensory changes were followed-up by means of a telephone questionnaire 1 year after surgery.
After 1 year, 57 (15.1%) of 377 patients complained of mild to moderate pain. The incidence of mild and moderate chronic pain was 14.3 and 0.8%, respectively. None of the patients had severe chronic pain. Only one patient reported numbness in the groin area. Age and immediate postoperative pain were significant risk factors associated with chronic pain after Kugel inguinal herniorrhaphy. Although the difference was not significant, female patients seemed to be more prone to develop chronic pain.
The Kugel inguinal hernia repair is associated with a low rate of postoperative chronic pain. The minimally invasive preperitoneal approach of the Kugel technique probably causes less nerve damage and subsequent neuropathic pain. Chronic pain seems to be more common in young female patients with immediate postoperative pain.
KeywordsPreperitoneal approach Kugel technique Neuralgia Risk factors Hernia Inguinal
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