Outcome of patients with severe chronic pain following repair of groin hernia.Br J Surg. 2002 Oct; 89(10):1310-4.BJ
Chronic pain is the most serious long-term complication that can occur after repair of a groin hernia. The aim of this study was to assess the outcome of patients who report severe or very severe pain 3 months after groin hernia repair.
This was a population-based study of all patients who underwent repair of a groin hernia between April 1998 and March 1999 in Scotland. All received a postal questionnaire 3 months after hernia repair and those who reported severe or very severe pain at the operation site were asked to complete a further questionnaire 2.5 years later. The main outcome measure included the number of patients with persistent pain and the effect of pain on daily activities and quality of life.
Of 5506 patients who underwent repair of a groin hernia, 4062 (74 per cent) returned the first questionnaire and 125 (3 per cent) reported severe or very severe pain. Eight-six (72 per cent) of 120 patients (five had died or could not be contacted at the original address) replied to the second questionnaire; 61 (71 per cent) still reported pain, which was severe or very severe pain in 22 (26 per cent) and mild or very mild in 39 (45 per cent). Twenty-nine (48 per cent) sought further medical help from their general practitioner or surgeon. Nine (15 per cent) attended a pain clinic while five (8 per cent) had further surgery. Chronic pain had significant effects (P < 0.001) on all daily activities including walking, work, sleep, relationships with other people, mood and general enjoyment of life.
Chronic pain persists in most patients who report severe or very severe pain at 3 months after hernia repair, and has a significant effect on the patients' daily activities and quality of life.