A prospective study comparing prophylactic division versus preservation of the ilioinguinal nerve in open Lichtenstein inguinal hernioplasty

Waleed Yusif El-Sherpiny, Tamer M. Elmahdy, Hosam Barakat Barakat


Background: Inguinal hernia is one of the most common surgeries done all over the world. Chronic groin pain is one of the most annoying problems after mesh hernioplasty. This study aimed at evaluating the incidence of chronic groin pain and numbness occurring after prophylactic ilioinguinal neurectomy, as compared to its preservation during Lichtenstein’s inguinal hernioplasty.

Methods: This prospective randomized study involved 90 patients complaining of inguinal hernias admitted to the department of general surgery, Tanta university hospitals during the study period. Our patients were divided randomly in two equal groups. (Group A) patients were subjected to Lichtenstein hernia repair with ilioinguinal neurectomy while (group B) patients were subjected to Lichtenstein hernia repair with nerve preservation. Post-operatively the incidence of groin pain and numbness were assessed in all patients. The pain was evaluated using a visual analogue scale. Whereas numbness was examined by the monofilament test and evaluated in comparison to the opposite side.

Results: In the present study, the incidence of pain was higher in nerve preservation study group whereas, numbness was not a major complication after prophylactic ilioinguinal nerve division and did not add to patient morbidity.

Conclusions: Prophylactic ilioinguinal nerve division could be an appropriate and beneficial solution for chronic groin pain after the Lichtenstein procedure and may be added as a surgical step during the classic procedures for hernia repair. Also, numbness was not a major complication after the prophylactic division of the ilioinguinal nerve and did not add to the patient morbidity.


Inguinal hernia, Mesh hernioplasty, Post-operative pain ilioinguinal nerve, Neurectomy, nerve preservation

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