Danish Hernia Database recommendations for the management of inguinal and femoral hernia in adults.Dan Med Bull. 2011 Feb; 58(2):C4243.DM
The nationwide Danish Hernia Database, recording more than 10,000 inguinal and 400 femoral hernia repairs annually, provides a unique opportunity to present valid recommendations in the management of Danish patients with groin hernia. The cumulated data have been discussed at biannual meetings and guidelines have been approved by the Danish Surgical Society. Diagnosis of groin hernia is based on clinical examination. Ultrasonography, CT or MRI are rarely needed, while herniography is not recommended. In patients with indicative symptoms of hernia, but no detectable hernia, diagnostic laparoscopy may be an option. Once diagnosed, hernia repair is recommended in the presence of symptoms affecting daily life. In male patients with minimal or absent symptoms watchful waiting is recommended. In females, however, repair is recommended also in asymptomatic patients. In male patients with primary unilateral or bilateral groin hernia the preferred method is mesh repair, either at open surgery (Lichtenstein) or laparoscopically, irrespective of age. Conventional tension-producing methods like Bassini, McVay or Shouldice are no longer recommended in a routine elective setting. Whether repair should be done by open or laparoscopic technique, depends on local expertise, economical considerations and patient preference. Compared to the Lichtenstein operation laparoscopic repair is associated with less acute pain and faster recovery. Furthermore, available data suggest less chronic long-term pain after laparoscopic repair. In female patients laparoscopic repair is the recommended method. In patients with recurrent hernia laparoscopic repair is preferred in patients with a previous open repair, while patients with recurrence after laparoscopic repair should undergo open mesh repair. In open repair it is recommended to use a mesh secured with a nonabsorbable monofilament suture. In laparoscopic repair a mesh without a slit and with a minimum size of 15 by 10 cm is used. For mesh fixation absorbable or nonabsorbable tacks or glue can be used. Elective surgery for groin hernia should be performed in an outpatient setting, using cost-effective local anaesthesia in open mesh repair and general anaesthesia for laparoscopic repair. Spinal anaesthesia is not recommended. Routine prophylactic antibiotics are not indicated. In the early convalescence period there are no physical restrictions. These guidelines will also be available at the website for the Danish Hernia Database (www.herniedatabasen.dk). The guidelines will be updated when new substantial evidence becomes available.