Background: Traditionally, hernia sac ligation during inguinal hernia repair is considered mandatory to prevent postoperative development of hernia. However, ligation may induce postoperative pain. The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcomes of hernia sac ligation after inguinal hernia repair. Methods: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials to investigate the outcomes of hernia sac ligation for open or laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair. Incidence of hernia recurrence was assessed following the surgery. The secondary outcomes included pain scores and postoperative complications. Results: Five trials were selected and their results were summarized. These 5 trials were published between 1984 and 2014, and the sample sizes ranged from 50 to 467 patients. Four trials had recruited patients with inguinal hernia who underwent open repair, and one study enrolled patients who underwent laparoscopic procedures. We observed no difference in the incidence of hernia recurrence and postoperative complications between the sac ligation and nonligation groups. Postoperatively, the intensity of pain was significantly higher in the ligation group than in the nonligation group at Day 7 (Weight mean difference 1.46; 95% confident interval: 0.98-1.95). Conclusion: Hernia sac ligation was associated with higher postoperative pain, and did not show any benefit over sac nonligation regarding the incidence of recurrence and postoperative complications in patients undergoing open tension-free mesh repair or laparoscopic procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-60
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Surgery
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Hernia sac
  • Inguinal hernia repair
  • Ligation
  • Meta-analysis
  • Postoperative pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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