Seroma is the most frequent postoperative complication after laparoscopic direct inguinal hernia repair. This randomized controlled trial evaluated the preventive effect of a simple technique by closing the direct hernia defect with barbed suture in laparoscopic direct inguinal hernia.
In total, 60 patients aged 18 years or older who presented to the hernia center department in our hospital between October 1, 2017 and January 1, 2018 with primary direct inguinal hernia were randomized into the defect-closing group (by closing the transversalis) and the control groups. The primary outcomes were to compare the ultrasonic seroma number and volume at the inguinal region at 7 days, 1, and 3 months postoperatively. Secondary outcomes included total operative time, acute pain, chronic pain (pain lasting over 3 mo), hospital stay, recurrence, and any other complications.
There were no significant differences in baseline demographic characteristics between the 2 groups including age, sex, hernia type, size of hernia defect, surgical approach, and follow-up time. Compared with control group, there were significantly fewer patients with seroma formation at 7 days, 1, and 3 months after the operations in the defect-closing group (P<0.001, <0.001, 0.002, respectively). In addition, ultrasonic seroma volume was less in the defect-closing group on postoperative day 7 (13.33 vs. 30.45 mL; P=0.02). The acute pain and hospital stay were comparable (P=0.61, 0.85, respectively), and no chronic pain, early recurrence or other postoperative complications observed in both groups during the follow-up period.
The simple technique of direct hernia defect closure with barbed suture in laparoscopic direct inguinal hernia repair is a secure and effective method, which is easy to perform and could significantly reduce both incidence and volume of seroma formation without increasing the risk of recurrence, acute, and chronic pain.