Pure tissue repairs: a timely and critical revival.Hernia. 2019 Jun; 23(3):493-502.H
"The majority of hernias can be satisfactorily repaired by using the tissues at hand. The use of mesh prosthesis should be restricted to those few hernias in which tension or lack of good fascial structures prevents a secure primary repair. This group includes large direct inguinal hernias and incisional hernias in which the defect is too large to close primarily without undue tension. Most recurrent hernias, because of this factor are best repaired with mesh prosthesis". These words, penned in 1960 by Francis Usher have reconfirmed what had been a mantra of the Shouldice Hospital (Usher in 81:847-854, 1960). The Shouldice Hospital has specialized in the treatment of abdominal wall hernias since 1945. It has, since its beginning, insisted on the fact that a thorough knowledge of anatomy coupled with large volumes of surgical cases would lead to unparalleled expertise. It was Cicero who taught us that "Practice, not intelligence or dexterity, will win the day"! Since the seminal contribution of Bassini (1844-1924), there have been no less than 80 procedures imitating his inguinal herniorrhaphy and much more since the introduction of mesh and mesh devices (Iason in Hernia. The Blakiston Company, Philadelphia, pp 475-604, 1940). All have failed to some extent and it appears that the common denominator for these failures was the inability to understand the importance of entering the preperitoneal space. Only Shouldice and McVay (Lotheissen, Narath) realized the shortcoming and have continued to thrive as a successful procedure. Entering the preperitoneal space eliminates any temptation to plicate the posterior inguinal wall, a layer normally deficient in direct inguinal hernias, but it also allows the identification of muscle layers rectus, transversus and internal oblique muscles which will go to reconstruct the posterior inguinal wall, without tension as reported by Schumpelick (Junge in 7(1):17-20, 2003).