First results of Lichtenstein hernia repair with Ultrapro-mesh as cost saving procedure--quality control combined with a modified quality of life questionnaire (SF-36) in a series of ambulatory operated patients.Eur J Med Res. 2004 Jun 30; 9(6):323-7.EJ
There are about 200,000 hernia repairs per year in Germany and about 770,000 in the U.S. In the United States most hernia repairs (80-90%) are performed as day surgery procedure; 90% of operations are open herniorrhaphies with mesh. Quality control includes the registration of complications, recurrence, and quality of life. In a prospective study 50 consecutive patients with inguinal hernia eligible for open mesh repair (modified Lichtenstein hernia repair), mostly Nyhus III and IV classification, were operated using light-weight Ultrapro-mesh (monocryl-prolene-composite, Ethicon Products), and interviewed 10 days after the operation according to a modified SF-36 questionnaire. Patients were examined three months later. There were 29 direct hernias, 21 combined (direct and indirect) hernias, 8 indirect hernias; 8 patients had hernias on both sides. 8 patients (16%) presented with recurrent hernias, mostly suture or laparoscopic repairs before. There were no intra-operative complications. 2 patients suffered from a moderate haematoma, which did not necessitate a surgical repair, after accidental intake of aspirin preoperatively in one case and after preoperative low-molecular-weight heparin prophylaxis. There were no other complications. All 50 patients (100%) had returned the questionnaire. 38 patients (78%) reported no or mild pain; only one patient (2%) suffered from severe pain, none had very severe pain. 32 patients (64%) applied no pain medication or only for 48 hours; only one patient (2%) used pain medication for more than 14 days. 34 patients (68%) admitted that their health status improved after the operation; 11 patients (22%) with good or very good health status indicated no change in health. Follow-up examination of the patients three months after the operation did not detect any recurrence. 49 patients (98%) were free of pain or restriction; one patient (2%) continued to have chronic pain which developed after two laparoscopic herniotomies performed at a different clinic before. There was no sign of mesh-related complication. The Ultrapro-mesh has been well accepted by the patients. In conclusion, open mesh repair according to Lichtenstein is safely done in specialised ambulatory day surgery clinics. Most patients benefit from this form of treatment according to a quality of life audit. The new light-weight mesh Ultrapro contributes to the improvement of hernia repair. There is evidence that ambulatory open mesh repair should be the method of choice for primary inguinal hernia. If in Germany an equal proportion of hernia repair as in the United States would be done as ambulatory procedure (80-90%), there would be an annual cost saving of several hundred million Euro.