The purpose of this study was to describe the rationale and design of a randomized controlled trial analyzing the effects of mesh type (Ultrapro versus Prolene mesh) on postoperative pain and well-being following an endoscopic Totally Extraperitoneal (TEP) repair for inguinal hernias (short: TULP trial).
Methods and design
The TULP trial is a prospective, two arm, double blind, randomized controlled trial to assess chronic postoperative pain and quality of life following implantation of a lightweight (Ultrapro) and heavyweight (Prolene) mesh in endoscopic TEP hernia repair. The setting is a high-volume single center hospital, specializing in TEP hernia repair. All patients are operated on by one of four surgeons. Adult male patients (≥18 years of age) with primary, reducible, unilateral inguinal hernias and no contraindications for TEP repair are eligible for inclusion in the study. The primary outcome is substantial chronic postoperative pain, defined as moderate to severe pain persisting ≥ 3 months postoperatively (Numerical Rating Scale, NRS 4–10). Secondary endpoints are the individual development of pain until three years after the TEP procedure, the quality of life (QoL), recurrence rate, patient satisfaction and complications.
Large prospective randomized controlled studies with a long follow-up evaluating the incidence of chronic postoperative pain following implantation of lightweight and heavyweight mesh in endoscopic (TEP) hernia repair are limited. By studying the presence of pain and quality of life, but also complications and recurrences in a large patient population, a complete efficiency and feasibility assessment of both mesh types in TEP hernia repair will be performed.
The TULP study is registered in the Dutch Trial Register (NTR2131)