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Long‐term results from a randomized comparison of open transinguinal preperitoneal hernia repair and the Lichtenstein method (TULIP trial). BJS 2019; 106: 856-861.

Published: 17th April 2019

Authors: W. J. V. Bökkerink, G. G. Koning, D. Malagic, L. Hout, C. J. H. M. Laarhoven, P. W. H. E. Vriens et al.

Background

The short‐term results of the TULIP trial comparing transinguinal preperitoneal (TIPP) inguinal hernia repair with the Lichtenstein method have been reported with follow‐up of 1 year. After TIPP repair, fewer patients had chronic postoperative inguinal pain (CPIP); they had better health status and lower costs. The present study reports the long‐term outcomes of this trial.

Method

All surviving patients initially randomized in the TULIP trial were contacted. Patients were interviewed by telephone and sent a questionnaire. Those reporting any complaints were invited for outpatient review. Chronic pain, hernia recurrence and reoperation were documented, along with any sensory change or disturbance of sexual activity.

Results

Of 302 patients initially randomized, 251 (83·1 per cent) were included in the analysis (119 TIPP, 132 Lichtenstein), with a median follow‐up of 85 (range 74–117) months. Of 25 patients with chronic postoperative inguinal pain after 1 year, only one, who underwent Lichtenstein repair, still had groin pain at long‐term follow‐up. The overall hernia recurrence rate was 2·8 per cent (7 patients), with no difference between the groups.

Conclusion

Both TIPP and Lichtenstein hernia repairs are durable. Patients with chronic postoperative inguinal pain after 1 year can be reassured that the groin pain tends to fade over time.

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