Perioperative Risk Factors for Persistent Postsurgical Pain After Inguinal Hernia Repair: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Harutyun Alaverdyan, Jooyoung Maeng, Peter K. Park, Kavya Narayana Reddy, Michael P. Gaume, Lauren Yaeger, Michael Awad, Simon Haroutounian

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Persistent postsurgical pain (PPSP) is one of the most bothersome and disabling long-term complications after inguinal hernia repair surgery. Understanding perioperative risk factors that contribute to PPSP can help identify high-risk patients and develop risk-mitigation approaches. The objective of this study was to systematically review and meta-analyze risk factors that contribute to PPSP after inguinal hernia repair. The literature search resulted in 303 papers included in this review, 140 of which were used for meta-analyses. Our results suggest that younger age, female sex, preoperative pain, recurrent hernia, postoperative complications, and postoperative pain are associated with a higher risk of PPSP. Laparoscopic techniques reduce the PPSP occurrence compared to anterior techniques such as Lichtenstein repair, and tissue-suture techniques such as Shouldice repair. The use of fibrin glue for mesh fixation was consistently associated with lower PPSP rates compared to tacks, staples, and sutures. Considerable variability was observed with PPSP assessment and reporting methodology in terms of study design, follow-up timing, clarity of pain definition, as well as pain intensity or interference threshold. High or moderate risk of bias in at least one domain was noted in >75% of studies. These may limit the generalizability of our results. Future studies should assess and report comprehensive preoperative and perioperative risk factors for PPSP adjusted for confounding factors, and develop risk-prediction models to drive stratified PPSP-mitigation trials and personalized clinical decision-making. Perspective: This systematic review and meta-analysis summarizes the current evidence on risk factors for persistent pain after inguinal hernia repair. The findings can help identify patients at risk and test personalized risk-mitigation approaches to prevent pain. PROSPERO registration: htttps://

Original languageEnglish
Article number104532
JournalJournal of Pain
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Inguinal hernia repair
  • meta-analysis
  • persistent postsurgical pain
  • risk factors


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