Transabdominal preperitoneal (TAPP) versus open Lichtenstein hernia repair. Comparison of the systemic inflammatory response and the postoperative pain

Abstract Purpose: To compare open Lichtenstein repair and laparoscopic transabdominal preperitoneal (TAPP) repair to treat primary unilateral hernia, regarding systemic inflammatory response, postoperative pain, and complications. Methods: A non-randomized prospective cohort study, with the preoperative and postoperative (24 hours) collection of blood samples for C reactive protein (CRP), interleukin 6 (IL-6), leukocyte and neutrophil analysis. Visual Analog Scale (VAS) was used to quantify the level of pain, and the operative time was correlated with the inflammatory response. VAS and CRP were also obtained on the 8th postoperative day. Results: Groups were homogeneous regarding preoperative characteristics. There were no differences between groups in 24h values of CRP, IL-6, leukocytes, neutrophils or VAS. Similarly, CRP and VAS did not differ between groups on the 8th postoperative day. However, the operative time for laparoscopic hernia repair was longer than the time for the open procedure. There was a weak correlation (r coefficient 0.31) between the duration of the surgical procedure and the VAS score at the eighth day. Conclusions: There were no statistically significant differences in the inflammatory response, pain scores, or complications between groups. We conclude that there is no advantage performing a primary unilateral hernia repair by laparoscopy.