BACKGROUND Various systems exist for prosthesis fixation in hernia repair. These techniques vary in terms of postoperative complications and pain. This study compares prosthesis fixation techniques employed in laparoscopic transabdominal preperitoneal (TAPP) hernioplasty using a visual analog scale (VAS) to quantify postoperative pain. METHODS Patients (n = 600) underwent TAPP inguinal hernia repair in a randomized prospective study. Prostheses were
fixed with Protak (Tyco, Norwalk, Conn), (Group A; n = 150), EndoANCHOR (Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. , Cincinnati, Ohio) (Group B; n = 150), EMS (Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. ) (Group C; n = 150), or Tissucol (Baxter Healthcare, Milan, Italy) (Group D; n = 150). Patients were interviewed up to 1 month post-intervention. Post-operative pain was evaluated on a 0- to 10-point VAS (0 = no pain, 10 = maximum pain). Morbidity, length of stay, return to work and recurrence were also assessed. RESULTS Overall, 803 hernias were treated: 397 patients (66. 2%) had unilateral hernias and 203 (33. 8%) had bilateral hernias. In total, 96 (12%) hernias were recurrences and 707 (88%) were primary. Postoperative pain ranged from VAS1 to VAS2 (mild pain) between 12 hours and 72 hours with Tissucol (Group D), and it was higher in Groups A-C: Maxima ranged from VAS4 (moderate pain) with EMS to VAS7 (severe pain) with Protak at 48-hour follow-up. Significant differences in length of stay occurred, no recurrence or conversion rates were observed among groups, and morbidity was generally lower with Tissucol. Patients in Group D (Tissucol) also returned to work sooner than did Groups A-C (Protak, EndoANCHOR, and EMS). CONCLUSIONS We found differences in postoperative pain among different laparoscopic TAPP prosthesis fixation methods. The use of the biocompatible fibrin sealant Tissucol seems to reduce significantly postoperative pain, complications, and resumption to work times compared with other systems.