Chronic pain following inguinal hernia repair: Assessment of quality of life and medico-legal aspects

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COD: 357-364 Categorie: ,

Pietro Giorgio Calò, Maria Rita Pittau, Paolo Contu, Ernesto D’Aloja, Angelo Nicolosi, Roberto Demontis

Ann. Ital. Chir., 2013 84: 357-363

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The aim of our study was to evaluate the quality of life (QoL) of a group of patients who underwent tension-free inguinal hernia repair in light of the possible medicolegal implications. We conducted a retrospective study on the QoL of patients who underwent inguinal hernioplasty. One hundred and fifty patients who answered the SF-36 questionnaire were included in the study. Twenty-six (17.3%) had chronic pain, 18 (12%), sensory deficits, and 106 (70.6%) did not complain of any symptoms. There was no a significant deterioration in QoL compared to the reference population. In the group with chronic pain, 10 patients (38.4%) reported being very limited in performing “physically demanding activities”; 18 (69.2%) reported a deficit of performance in activities of daily living; 8 (30.7%) complained of a reduction of time spent at work because of emotional disorders. In one case the pain was particularly severe and required surgical treatment. The answers obtained through the questionnaire show that tension-free hernioplasty does not degrade patients’QoL. However in the group of patients with chronic pain examined one year after surgery, QoL had deteriorated so much that it affected the employment sphere and the social and relational sphere. Although there is a relatively low incidence and frequency of problems relating to chronic pain following inguinal hernioplasty, chronic pain can sometimes have serious effects on QoL and socio-economic and legal implications.

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