Author(s): Zendejas B, Zarroug AE, Erben YM, Holley CT, Farley DR
BACKGROUND: Short-term follow-up of pediatric inguinal herniorrhaphies has yielded low morbidity and recurrence rates. Nonetheless, the impact of childhood inguinal herniorrhaphy on the adulthood risk for repeat groin operation, chronic groin pain, and infertility has not been established.
STUDY DESIGN: A survey was mailed to all patients who underwent a primary inguinal hernia repair as a child at our institution from 1956 to 1960. The survey inquired about repeat groin operation, chronic groin pain, and fertility status. Demographic and operative information from respondents was obtained from medical record review.
RESULTS: Of 332 eligible patients, 213 (66%) responded to the survey, accounting for 252 inguinal herniorrhaphies (174 unilateral, 33 bilateral, and 6 sequential contralateral). All hernias were indirect, more common on the right (right, 49%; left, 25%; bilateral, 26%), with males predominating (91%). History of premature birth was present in 5 (2%) patients. High ligation of the hernia sac was performed in 90% of the repairs. Hydrocelectomy was performed in 25 (13%) and orchidopexy in 37 (19%) patients. With a median follow-up of 49 years (range 47.2 to 52.1 years), a total of 21 (8.4%) repeat and 13 (6%) contralateral groin operations were observed. Chronic groin pain and a medical diagnosis of infertility were reported by 7 (3%) and 10 (5%) patients, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Childhood inguinal hernia repairs do not appear to decrease or increase the risk of inguinal hernia development in adulthood. Parents and children undergoing a childhood inguinal hernia repair should be informed that although the risk for a true indirect hernia recurrence is low, the risk of repeat groin operation (8.4%) and chronic groin pain (3%) remain present in adulthood.Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research