Background: Incisional hernias can be associated with pain or discomfort. Surgical repair especially mesh reinforcement, may likewise induce pain. The primary objective was to assess the incidence of pain after hernia repair in patients with and without pre-operative pain or discomfort. The secondary objectives were to determine the preferred mesh type, mesh location and surgical technique in minimizing postoperative pain or discomfort. Materials and methods: A registry-based prospective cohort study was performed, including patients undergoing incisional hernia repair between September 2011 and May 2019. Patients with a minimum follow-up of 3–6 months were included. The incidence of hernia related pain and discomfort was recorded perioperatively. Results: A total of 1312 patients were included. Pre-operatively, 1091 (83%) patients reported pain or discomfort. After hernia repair, 961 (73%) patients did not report pain or discomfort (mean follow-up = 11.1 months). Of the pre-operative asymptomatic patients (n = 221), 44 (20%, moderate or severe pain: n = 14, 32%) reported pain or discomfort after mean follow-up of 10.5 months. Of those patients initially reporting pain or discomfort (n = 1091), 307 (28%, moderate or severe pain: n = 80, 26%) still reported pain or discomfort after a mean follow-up of 11.3 months postoperatively. Conclusion: In symptomatic incisional hernia patients, hernia related complaints may be resolved in the majority of cases undergoing surgical repair. In asymptomatic incisional hernia patients, pain or discomfort may be induced in a considerable number of patients due to surgical repair and one should be aware if this postoperative complication.

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International Journal of Surgery
Department of Surgery

de Smet, G.H.J, Sneiders, D, Yurtkap, Y, Menon, A.G, Jeekel, J, Kleinrensink, G.J, … Zeineb, M. (M.). (2020). Functional outcomes in symptomatic versus asymptomatic patients undergoing incisional hernia repair: Replacing one problem with another? A prospective cohort study in 1312 patients. International Journal of Surgery, 82, 76–84. doi:10.1016/j.ijsu.2020.07.054