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ISSN: 1895-4588
Videosurgery and Other Miniinvasive Techniques
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vol. 13
Original paper

Ethnicity-related differences in inguinal canal dimensions between African and Caucasian populations and their potential impact on the mesh size for open and laparoscopic groin hernia repair in low-resource countries in Africa

Kryspin Mitura, Sławomir Kozieł, Michał Pasierbek

Videosurgery Miniinv 2018; 13 (1): 74–81
Online publish date: 2018/01/04
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Access to surgery in Africa is significantly limited. Treatment outcomes in Africa differ significantly compared to those achieved in Europe or the US. Therefore, to popularise tension-free repair, it is essential to determine the economically justified mesh size for the African population.

To conduct anthropometric evaluation of the inguinal canal in African and European patients to determine its potential consequences for the mesh size for open and laparoscopic hernia repair.

Material and methods
The measurements were made in 44 adult males in Africa (group I) and were compared to measurements in 45 consecutive Caucasian males (group II). The mean age of patients was respectively 48.3 and 51.2 years.

There was no statistically significant difference in the internal ring diameter between groups (2.2 vs. 2.1 cm; p = 0.58). The distance between the pubic tubercle and the inferomedial border of the internal inguinal ring was significantly shorter in group I (3.8 vs. 5.1 cm; p < 0.001). A similar difference was found in the length of transverse arch aponeurosis (2.9 vs. 4.0 cm; p < 0.001). The distance between the pubic tubercle and anterior superior iliac spine in group I was approximately 2 cm shorter on each side (10.0 vs. 11.8 cm; p < 0.001).

The anatomical differences in inguinal dimensions between Central African and European populations support the potential need to adjust the standard size of synthetic mesh used for hernia repair to the needs of local populations. The significantly smaller dimensions of the inguinal canal in African males may allow the use of smaller meshes.


Africa, inguinal canal, hernia repair, mesh size, low-resource country

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