Re-operation due to severe late-onset persisting groin pain following anterior inguinal hernia repair with mesh
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Mild pain lasting for a few days is common following mesh inguinal hernia repair. In some patients however, severe groin pain may appear months or even years postoperatively. The aim of this study was to report our experience of late-onset persisting severe postoperative groin pain occurring years after mesh hernioplasty.
In a 9-year period, 1,633 patients (1,073 men), median age 63 years (range 19–88), underwent mesh groin hernia repair. Between 1.5 and 4 years postoperatively, six patients (0.35%) presented with severe chronic groin pain unrelieved by conservative measures and surgical exploration was essential. The patients’ records were retrospectively reviewed for the purpose of this study.
Ilioinguinal nerve entrapment was detected in four patients. The meshes appeared to be indistinguishable from the nerve and were removed along with the stuck nerve. New meshes were properly inserted. Mesh fixation on the periostium of the pubic tubercle by a staple was found in the other two patients. The staples were removed from the periostium in both patients. Neither hernia recurrence nor chronic groin pain was persisting in all six patients during a follow-up of 6–44 months postoperatively.
From the results of this study, it appears that ilioinguinal nerve entrapment and/or mesh fixation on the periostium of the pubic tubercle are the causes of late-onset severe chronic pain after inguinal mesh hernioplasty. Mesh removal, along with the stuck ilioinguinal nerve and staple detachment from the periostium, are the gold-standard techniques if conservative measures fail to reduce pain.
KeywordsInguinal mesh hernia repair Late-onset severe groin pain Mesh removal
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