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Primary unilateral not complicated inguinal hernia: our choice of TAPP, why, results and review of literature

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Abstract

Background

Currently, three different techniques are favored for repair of an inguinal hernia: (1) The suture repair described by Shouldice. (2) An open mesh repair according to Lichtenstein. (3) Laparo-endoscopic techniques TAPP and TEP. The aim of the presented paper was to describe the ranking of the Transabdominal Preperitoneal Patch Plasty (TAPP) in comparison to the other techniques for inguinal hernia repair.

Methods

The manuscript is based on the experiences gained in more than 15,000 TAPPs and numerous own studies as well. The technique of TAPP is described in detail and also the results which can be achieved with special reference to primary unilateral inguinal hernias in male patients. Moreover, a systematic review of the literature is done for the comparison with the other techniques.

Results

According to own experiences, 98% of all patients with an inguinal hernia admitted for surgery to Marienhospital Stuttgart could be operated on using the TAPP technique. The recurrence rate and the rate of severe chronic pain in this setting were below 1%. Due to the limited quality of most of the published studies an evidence-based comparison which is the best of the currently most recommended techniques is questionable. Therefore, when comparing TAPP with TEP, no definite conclusion about superiority of one technique over the other is possible. Both techniques are safe and effective if properly performed. The guidelines recommend that the surgeon should use the technique he had learned best and is familiar with. The comparison between TAPP and the Shouldice repair shows less pain and a higher effectivity after TAPP. The recurrence rate after Lichtenstein repair and after TAPP is similar, but pain and recovery time are significantly less after TAPP.

Conclusion

Analyzing the own abundant experiences and the reports in the literature, the TAPP technique has the potential to become the standard operative technique for repair of inguinal hernias in future. However, due to the low level of evidence of most of the studies definite conclusions are difficult to draw at this point of time.

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Bittner, R., Schwarz, J. Primary unilateral not complicated inguinal hernia: our choice of TAPP, why, results and review of literature. Hernia 23, 417–428 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10029-019-01959-z

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