Mesh-fixation method and pain and quality of life after laparoscopic ventral or incisional hernia repair: a randomized trial of three fixation techniques

Eelco Wassenaar, Ernst Schoenmaeckers, Johan Raymakers, Job van der Palen, Srdjan Rakic

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    Background: Persistent, activity-limiting pain after laparoscopic ventral or incisional hernia repair (LVIHR) appears to be related to fixation of the implanted mesh. A randomized study comparing commonly used fixation techniques with respect to postoperative pain and quality of life has not previously been reported.

    Methods: A total of 199 patients undergoing non-urgent LVIHR in our unit between August 2005 and July 2008 were randomly assigned to one of three mesh-fixation groups: absorbable sutures (AS) with tacks; double crown (DC), which involved two circles of tacks and no sutures; and nonabsorbable sutures (NS) with tacks. All operations were performed by one of two experienced surgeons, who used a standardized technique and the same type of mesh and mesh-fixation materials. The severity of the patients’ pain was assessed preoperatively and at 2 weeks, 6 weeks and 3 months postoperatively by using a visual analogue scale (VAS). Quality of life (QoL) was evaluated by administering a standard health survey before and 3 months after surgery. Results in the three groups were compared.

    Results: The AS, DC, and NS mesh-fixation groups had similar patient demographic, hernia and operative characteristics. There were no significant differences among the groups in VAS scores at any assessment time or in the change in VAS score from preoperative to postoperative evaluations. The QoL survey data showed a significant difference among groups for only two of the eight health areas analyzed.

    Conclusion: In this trial, the three mesh-fixation methods were associated with similar postoperative pain and QoL findings. These results suggest that none of the techniques can be considered to have a pain-reduction advantage over the others. Development of new methods for securing the mesh may be required to decrease the rate or severity of pain after LVIHR.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1296-1302
    JournalSurgical endoscopy
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • Incisional hernia
    • Ventral hernia
    • Laparoscopic surgery
    • Pain
    • Quality of life
    • Mesh fixation


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