Feasibility and Safety of Prosthetic Implants for Inguinal Hernia Repair in a Nigerian Tertiary Hospital
Background: Worldwide, inguinal hernia repair is the commonest surgical procedure in general surgery, but the optimal repair technique for inguinal hernia has not been defined and accepted in most parts of Africa and other developing nations. The aim of this study was to determine the epidemiology of inguinal hernias and feasibility of mesh implants in our centre.
Methodology: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study of consecutive adult patients with uncomplicated inguinal hernias who received polypropylene mesh for repair of their inguinal hernias. Selection criteria included inguinoscrotal/inguinolabial hernia, recurrent or bilateral hernia or bubunoceles with wide defects. Descriptive statistics and tests of significance were done.
Results: Inguinal hernia represented 77.3% of all abdominal wall hernias encountered during the study. However, only 27.8% (100 patients) of the 360 patients that satisfied the inclusion criteria received mesh implants. Of the 100 patients studied, 31% had recurrent hernias, 48% harbored complete inguinoscrotal/inguinolabial hernia while 13% had incomplete inguinoscrotal hernia. Majority (86%) had unilateral hernia.The annual repair rates using mesh implants increased progressively from 4% in 2013 to 40% in 2017. A quarter (25%) had comorbidities. Majority (60%) of repairs were under general anesthesia. The overall postoperative complication rate was 14%. Wound infection rate was 3.5%. There was statistically significant difference in the rates of wound-related events between recurrent and primary inguinal hernias (p=0.000). There was no mortality or recurrence recorded in this study.
Conclusion: The uptake of mesh implants for inguinal hernia repair in our environment is low, though the trend is changing with higher proportions of patients accepting mesh implants in recent time. Elective inguinal hernia surgery with polypropylene mesh is feasible, safe, effective and reproducible in our setting.
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