The Lichtenstein repair is now the gold standard for open hernia repairs. This repair is easier to learn and easy to implement for the average general surgeon. Open mesh repairs are not the end-all in hernia operations, however, and surgeons must retain the knowledge for open tissue-based procedures. Laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair is a safe alternative to open repair for inguinal hernias but is much more operator dependent. Open mesh repair has a lower recurrence rate when compared with TEP or TAPP repairs for less experienced laparoscopists. Laparoscopic repair has a quicker return to work, is associated with less postoperative pain, and has a better cosmetic result. It is more difficult to learn, however, and hospital costs are higher. Surgeons need to look at their own numbers and experience to decide which approach is better given the clinical situation based on their proficiency with the various techniques.
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