Background: Aim of this study was to analyze long-term sequelae, risk factors, and satisfaction after inguinal hernia primary repair. Methods: A postal questionnaire was mailed to all patients operated between January 1997 and December 2004 for inguinal hernia repair. Patients who had a lump in the groin and patients who experienced chronic problems were invited for a physical examination. Patients who reported having chronic pain were asked to fill out the short-form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ). Results: Chronic pain was present in 18.1% of cases. The strongest risk factors were presence of recurrence, use of heavyweight mesh, and age younger than 66 years. By means of the SF-MPQ, we found that the pain reported by most patients was sensory-discriminative in quality, with "tender" and "aching" being the most common descriptors used. About 71.3% of replies used descriptors typical of nociceptive pain, 8.9% of neuropathic pain, and 19.8% of nociceptive plus neuropathic. Chronic pain was severe in 2.1% of patients and interfered with normal activities, work, and exercise. The cumulative recurrence rate was 2.1%. There was a strong correlation between lump and recurrence. Patients declared themselves satisfied with the result of the operation in 93.1% of cases. Due to chronic pain, 6.5% of patients were unsatisfied. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the main problem after inguinal hernia repair remains chronic pain, which was the primary reason of dissatisfaction. The SF-MPQ is feasible and easy to administer to all patients and provides important information about qualitative features of the pain.
- Inguinal hernia repair
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