The objective was to evaluate the short and long term results of the open tension-free mesh repair as a day case. A retrospective study of 961 elective inguinal hernia patients over a 5 year period was undertaken. The setting was a Day Surgery Unit of a District General Hospital where surgeons of different levels of skill perform the operations, according to a standardised protocol, using local anaesthesia with sedation and mesh repair. A total of 93% of the patients were discharged and sent home the same day. Morbidity was 4.4%; no mesh required removal; the overall recurrence rate was 2.2% (0.7% for primary hernias and 5.2% for recurrent hernias). The satisfaction rate with the repair was high (> 95%). We conclude that the Lichtenstein repair is highly suitable for day case surgery. Standardization of the anaesthetic-hernia repair technique improves the results and the quality of care provided.
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