Spinal or local anesthesia in Lichtenstein hernia repair - A randomized controlled trial

Ruben Veen, C Mahabier, Imro Dawson, Hop, Niels Kok, Johan Lange, J (Hans) Jeekel

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51 Citations (Scopus)


Background: With established protocols lacking, the choice of anesthetic technique remains arbitrary in inguinal hernia repair. Well-designed studies in this subject are important because of the gap or discrepancy between available scientific evidence and clinical practice. Methods: Between August 2004 and June 2006, a multicenter prospective clinical trial was performed in which 100 patients with unilateral primary inguinal hernia were randomized to spinal or local anesthesia. Clinical examination took place within 2 weeks postoperatively and at 3 months in the outpatient clinic. Results: Analysis of postoperative visual analogue scale scores showed that patients operated under local anesthesia had significant less pain shortly after surgery (P = 0.021). Significantly more urinary retention (P < 0.001) and more overnight admissions (P = 0.004) occurred after spinal anesthesia. Total operating time is significantly shorter in the local anesthesia group (P < 0.001). No significant differences were found between the 2 groups with respect to the activities of daily life and quality of life. Conclusions: Our study provides evidence that local anesthesia is superior to spinal anesthesia in inguinal hernia repair. Local anesthesia in primary, inguinal hernia repairs should be the method of choice.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)428-433
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Research programs

  • EMC NIHES-01-66-01
  • EMC OR-02-47-12

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