BACKGROUND: Inguinal hernia repair is traditionally carried out as either open or laparoscopic repair. Laparoscopic repair has been shown to be superior in terms of pain and discomfort, but has a higher risk of reoperation. Quality of inguinal hernia repair is related to factors such as method of repair, characteristics of patients, and possibly the annual volume of procedures performed by a center. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that hospital volume and type of hospital (private vs public) could influence the reoperation rate for recurrence as a marker of surgical quality of care.
METHODS: This study was based on data from the Danish Hernia Database covering the period from January 1, 1998, to December 31, 2013. Hernia repairs included in this study were laparoscopic repair of primary, inguinal hernias in the elective setting, performed on adult male patients.
RESULTS: A total of 14 532 laparoscopic repairs were included for analysis. Centers reporting less than 50 procedures a year had a significantly higher cumulative reoperation rate compared with centers reporting more than 50 procedures a year (9.97% vs 6.06%), P < .0001. Private centers had a lower cumulative reoperation rate compared with public centers: 5.36% versus 8.53%, P ≤ .0001. Type of center and center volume were both independent risk factors for reoperation in a Cox regression model.
CONCLUSION: Hospital volume had an effect on the reoperation rate for recurrence after laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair. Furthermore, private centers performed better than public centers irrespective of volume.