An anatomic and functional classification for the diagnosis and treatment of inguinal hernia

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      A simple classification of inguinal hernias is presented which can be valuable to surgeons as a (1) blueprint for dissecting the canal, (2) means for choosing the most appropriate operative procedure, (3) means for evaluating and correlating the prognosis of postoperative symptoms, time of convalescence, and degree of disability, and (4) method of identifying and communicating the exact anatomic derangement found so that accurate and consistent follow-up studies and statistics can be prepared. Diligent follow-up is essential for verifying the true results of hernia surgery techniques. Such follow-up requires that the surgeon be dedicated to examining his patients for many years, as well as to understanding, recording, and referencing the exact anatomic and functional defects found and the repairs used to correct them. Only with these factors identified and recorded can there be a basis for meaningful reporting and valuable conclusions.
      The classification of inguinal hernias presented here is intended to provide surgeons an opportunity to better evaluate their own methods and to more clearly communicate results with colleagues. As Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “Many times ideas grow better when they are transplanted from one mind to another.”
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