Chronic pain occurs in 20–30% of patients after hernia surgery. As a consequence of this chronic pain, almost one third of patients have limitations in daily activities. Frequency and severity of this pain varies with different techniques of hernia repair. The objective of this study was to compare polypropylene suture and skin staples for securing mesh in uncomplicated ventral hernioplasty in terms of acute and chronic postoperative pain and to compare the time taken for mesh fixation between polypropylene sutures and skin stapler in ventral hernioplasty.
This study was conducted in Surgery Department of Dow University Hospital, Dow University of Health Sciences, Ojha Campus and included 53 patients from Jan 2015 to Dec 2016, after taking informed consent. All patients were operated under general anesthesia by the same surgical team. Patients were randomized into two groups; in one group mesh fixed with 2/0 polypropylene suture while in other group mesh stapler was used. Time taken to apply mesh was noted in minutes from laying the mesh over anterior rectus sheath to completion of fixation by either method. The severity of post-operative pain was measured with VAS (1-10) after one week, one month and after one year after surgery. Data was analysed using SPSS version 17.
Patient characteristics and operative outcome were similar in the two groups and statistically non-significant in both. Early postoperative pain was more after suture fixation but it was not statistically significant. Mean ± SD pain score was after one week 3.47±2.7 after sutures while 2.91±1.88 after stapler. After four weeks, 0.40±0.49 after suture while 0.35±0.48 after stapler fixation. In both study groups 30–34% of the patients felt some pain in follow-up after one year. Severity of pain was 0.60±0.62 after suture while 1.65±1.94 after stapler fixation which is statistically significant as well (p<0.007). Mean operative time was 15.33±6.33 minutes for suture fixation while 1.56±0.41 minutes for fixation by staples, p-value < 0.001.