A Critical Appraisal of the Chronic Pain Rate After Inguinal Hernia Repair


Purpose: To critically appraise highly cited studies reporting on the rate of chronic pain after inguinal hernia repair.Methods: Google Scholar was searched on 23 May 2022. We only included publications with more than 10 citations per year since publication and more than 100 citations in total. Both reports of original data and systematic reviews were included. Risk of bias and quality of the included studies were assessed with either the Joanna Briggs Institute Checklist for Prevalence Studies or the AMSTAR 2 depending on study design.Results: Twenty studies were included and evaluated. The rate of chronic postoperative inguinal pain of any degree ranged from 10%–63%, and the rate of moderate-to-severe pain ranged from 1%–18%. All studies reported the rate of pain of any degree, and most studies reported the rate of moderate-to-severe pain influencing daily activities. Studies used different temporal definitions of chronic pain, but most studies defined it as pain persisting either three or six months postoperatively. Ten studies used unvalidated questionnaires or significantly modified versions of validated questionnaires. Eleven studies primarily included patients receiving open repair. Included studies had median 21 citations per year (range 10–39) and median 387 citations in total (range 127–788).Conclusion: The rates of chronic postoperative inguinal pain reported in the included highly cited studies are possibly inaccurate, excessive, and outdated. New prospective studies based on uniform definitions and standards of measurement are warranted to better assess a contemporary chronic pain rate after inguinal hernia repair.
TidsskriftJournal of Abdominal Wall Surgery
StatusUdgivet - 2023