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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Ten-year audit of Lichtenstein hernioplasty under local anaesthesia performed by surgical residents

Hannu Paajanen12* and Riitta Varjo12

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Surgery, University Hospital of Kuopio, Puijonlaaksontie 2, 70210 Kuopio, Finland

2 Department of Surgery, Central Hospital of Mikkeli, Porrassalmenkatu 35-37, 50100 Mikkeli, Finland

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BMC Surgery 2010, 10:24  doi:10.1186/1471-2482-10-24

Published: 4 August 2010



To analyse in a prospective trial the long-term results of Lichtenstein hernioplasty performed by surgical trainees.


Training of tension-free Lichtenstein hernia operation was started in our ambulatory unit as an outpatient procedure under local anaesthesia in 1996. After performing 36 teaching operations together with residents and their supervising specialist, 281 patients were operated during 1996-2000 either by one senior consultant (n = 141) or by 12 surgical trainees (n = 140). After 10 years, 247 (88%) patients were available for the long-term assessment.


After one month postoperatively, the rate of wound infections (consultant 1.1%, residents 0.7%) and hematomas (consultant 1.1%, residents 3.0%) were low and not related to surgeon's training level (ns). Only 6 (2.1%) clinically evident recurrences were found after 10 years: two after specialist repair and four after trainee repair (ns). Although one third of the patients reported some discomfort after 3 and 10 years, 93-95% of the patients were very satisfied with the operation, with no statistical difference between the surgeons.


Ambulatory open mesh repair under local anaesthesia was a safe operation and the long-term results were acceptable among the patients operated by surgical trainees.