BACKGROUND: A 10-year experience of abdominal wall hernia repair performed with anterior tension-free mesh or plug technique under local anesthesia in end-stage renal failure patients submitted to continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) is described in order to assess the safety and effectiveness of this approach. METHODS: Between January 1993 and December 2002, 18 hernia repairs were performed under local anesthesia in 16 patients (14 males and two females) with a mean age of 70 years (48-78). One umbilical and three unilateral inguinal hernias were observed and repaired before starting peritoneal dialysis (PD), while two umbilical, eight unilateral, and two bilateral groin hernias developed and were then treated during PD. Repairs were performed electively in all but one case, which was an emergency operation for strangulation. An ipsilateral scrotal swelling was also present in two indirect unilateral inguinal hernias. In these cases, the hernia sac was ligated before entering, while in the others it was simply dissected and inverted. RESULTS: Patients were discharged the same day or the day after surgery. No local or general immediate or late complications occurred. CAPD in subjects operated on during PD treatment was resumed the same day of surgery. In no instance was hernia recurrence or leak of dialysis solution observed at follow-up examinations. CONCLUSIONS: The absence of surgical and general complications and the nearly immediate resumption of PD indicate the anterior tension-free repair under local anesthesia as a safe and effective technique for CAPD patients even in an ambulatory or day-surgery setting.
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