Open versus laparoscopic repair of inguinal hernia: an overview of systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials

Nafi’u Haladu, Adegoke Alabi, Miriam Brazzelli, Mari Imamura, Irfan Ahmed, George Ramsay, Neil W. Scott* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background
Inguinal hernia has a lifetime incidence of 27% in men and 3% in women. Surgery is the recommended treatment, but there is no consensus on the best method. Open repair is most popular, but there are concerns about the risk of chronic groin pain. Laparoscopic repair is increasingly accepted due to the lower risk of chronic pain, although its recurrence rate is still unclear. The aim of this overview is to compare the risk of recurrence and chronic groin pain in laparoscopic versus open repair for inguinal hernia.
Methods
We searched Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews for systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Only reviews of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in adults published in English were included. Conference proceedings and editorials were excluded. The quality of the systematic reviews was assessed using the AMSTAR 2 checklist. Two outcomes were considered: hernia recurrence and chronic pain.
Results
Twenty-one systematic reviews and meta-analyses were included. Laparoscopic repair was associated with a lower risk of chronic groin pain compared with open repair. In the four systematic reviews assessing any laparoscopic versus any
open repairs, laparoscopic repair was associated with a statistically significant (range: 26–46%) reduction in the odds or risk of chronic pain. Most reviews showed no difference in recurrence rates between laparoscopic and open repairs, regardless of the types of repair considered or the types of hernia that were studied, but most reviews had wide confidence intervals and we cannot rule out clinically important effects favouring either type of repair. Conclusion Meta-analyses suggest that laparoscopic repairs have a lower incidence of chronic groin pain than open repair, but there is no evidence of differences in recurrence rates between laparoscopic and open repairs.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalSurgical Endoscopy
Early online date14 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • Inguinal hernia surgery
  • Laparoscopic repair
  • Open repair
  • Primary hernia
  • Overview of systematic reviews

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