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Chronic Pain After Femoral Hernia Repair: A Cross-Sectional Study
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences, Colorectal Surgery.
CLINTEC, Karolinska Institutet.
Insitutionen för kirurgisk och perioperativ vetenskap, Umeå Universitet.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences, Upper Abdominal Surgery.
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2011 (English)In: Annals of Surgery, ISSN 0003-4932, E-ISSN 1528-1140, Vol. 254, no 6, 1017-1021 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


To explore the prevalence of and to identify possible risk factors for chronic pain after surgery for femoral hernia.


Chronic pain has become a very important outcome in quality assessment of inguinal hernia surgery. There are no studies on the risk for chronic pain after femoral hernia surgery.


The Inguinal Pain Questionnaire was sent to 1967 patients who had had a repair for primary unilateral femoral hernia between January 1, 1997 and December 31, 2006. A follow-up period of at least 18 months was chosen. Answers from 1461 patients were matched with data recorded in the Swedish Hernia Register and analyzed.


Some degree of pain during the previous week was reported by 24.2% (354) of patients. Pain interfered with daily activities in 5.5% (81) of patients. Emergency surgery (OR = 0.54; 95% CI = 0.40-0.74) and longer time since surgery (OR = 0.93; 95% CI = 0.89-0.98 for each year added) were associated with lower risk for chronic postoperative pain, whereas a high level of preoperative pain was associated with a higher risk for chronic pain (OR = 1.17; 95% CI = 1.10-1.25). Surgical technique was not found to influence the risk for chronic pain in multivariate logistic regression analysis.


Chronic postoperative pain is as important a complication after femoral hernia surgery as it is after inguinal hernia surgery. In contrast to inguinal hernia surgery, no risk factor related to surgical technique was found. Further investigations into the role of preoperative pain are necessary.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 254, no 6, 1017-1021 p.
Keyword [en]
hernia, chronic pain, long-term post operative pain, femoral, complication, questionnaire
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-162197DOI: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e31822ba9b6ISI: 000297375200027PubMedID: 21862924OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-162197DiVA: diva2:459665
Available from: 2011-11-27 Created: 2011-11-25 Last updated: 2012-01-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Femoral and Inguinal Hernia: How to Minimize Adverse Outcomes Following Repair
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Femoral and Inguinal Hernia: How to Minimize Adverse Outcomes Following Repair
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Groin hernia is common, and each year 200 repairs per 100 000 adult inhabitants are performed in Sweden. Groin hernias are either inguinal or femoral (2-4%). Elective repair is not associated with an excess mortality, but adverse outcomes include recurrence and long-term pain. Emergency procedures have a 4% mortality rate with an increased risk for bowel resection and postoperative complications. The aim of this thesis was to identify risk factors for adverse outcomes and to propose measures to improve groin hernia treatment.

Twenty-three per cent of female hernias were femoral. Thirty-six per cent of femoral hernias, and 5% of inguinal hernias, have emergency procedures. Females (OR 1.47) and patients above 65 years-of-age (OR 2.24) were at higher risk for emergency repair. Bowel resection was performed in 23% of emergency femoral repairs, and the 30-day mortality was 10 times that of an age- and gender-matched population. The majority of emergency patients were unaware of their hernia, and one third had previously had no groin symptoms.

Femoral repairs were at larger risk for recurrence than inguinal repairs. The surgical techniques with least risk for recurrence were preperitoneal mesh repairs (open HR 0.28, and laparoscopic HR 0.31). Long-term pain was present in 24% of femoral hernia patients, of whom 5.5% described pain interfering with daily activities. The only factor predicting the risk for long-term pain was pain preoperatively. Pain decreased with time.

In a randomized study on inguinal hernia, TEP resulted in less pain six weeks after surgery than Lichtenstein repair performed under local anesthesia (LLA). TEP patients were to a larger extent able to perform sporting activities. No difference was seen in intra-operative complications.

Femoral hernias should be given high priority for repair and preperitoneal techniques should be used. Earlier diagnosis, in the elective setting, is probably difficult to attain. Heightened awareness in the emergency department is required. TEP is safe, and results in less pain than LLA six weeks after surgery. A widening of indications for TEP in primary inguinal hernia repair is justifiable.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Uppsaliensis, 2011. 57 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 728
femoral hernia, inguinal hernia, adverse outcome, complication, recurrence, chronic pain, long-term pain, emergency, mortality, TEP, Lichtenstein, local anesthesia
National Category
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-162203 (URN)978-91-554-8236-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-01-13, Enghoffsalen, Ing 50, Akademiska Sjukhuset, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2011-12-20 Created: 2011-11-26 Last updated: 2012-01-03Bibliographically approved

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