Prophylactic alpha-blockade for prevention of post-operative urinary retention after inguinal hernia repair: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

The rate of post-operative urinary retention (POUR) in inguinal hernia repairs (IHR) is estimated to be approximately 5.9% to 38% worldwide. Currently, there are minimal studies on the prophylaxis of POUR after IHR. Pre-operative administration of alpha-blockers such as (but not limited to) Tamsulosin, Prazosin and Alfuzosin has shown promising results in the prevention of POUR in patients undergoing IHR. This study aims to determine the effectiveness of prophylactic alpha-blockade in the prevention of POUR after IHR.

This study reports the findings of a systematic review and meta-analysis. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) using prophylactic alpha-blockade for the prevention of POUR after open and/or laparoscopic IHR in patients aged more than 18 years in all sex groups were included. Multiple databases were searched from inception to October 2021 using the PRISMA flow diagram. Data were extracted and analysed to include eligibility criteria, comparator, intervention, study and participant characteristics. Studies excluded were non-RCT studies and patients with known urinary tract disorders such as benign prostate hypertrophy, urinary incontinence and cancer of the bladder or prostate. Subgroup analyses were also conducted. All effect measures of each data were odds ratio with 95% confidence interval. All studies were pooled using the dichotomous random effects Mantel-Haenszel statistical mode and I2 was used to assess heterogeneity. Publication bias was detected using the Cochrane risk-of-bias tool for randomised trials (RoB-2) involving two independent reviewers.

A total of eight RCTs were identified which provided adequate numeric data for incorporation into the meta-analysis. Overall, administration of pre-operative alpha-blocker prior to IHR did not prevent POUR (95% CI 1.20 (0.96-1.49), I2: 34%). Subgroup analysis comparing pre-operative use of prophylactic alpha-blocker in open versus laparoscopic IHR has shown statistically significant reduction of POUR prevention in the laparoscopic group (95% CI 0.66 (0.47-0.92)), I2: 43%). The older age group benefited from pre-operative alpha-blocker use with reduced incidence of POUR post-IHR (95% CI 0.14 (0.08, 0.23), I2: 0%)). Gender did not affect the difference of incidence of POUR post-IHR despite pre-operative alpha-blockers (95% CI 0.62 (0.27, 1.44)), I2: 53%)).

Overall, this meta-analysis has shown that administration of prophylactic alpha-blockers did not prevent POUR. However, there was statistically significant reduction of POUR in patients undergoing laparoscopic IHR as compared to open, as well as in older patients (age more than 60 years) after administration of pre-operative alpha-blocker. Hence, the use of pre-operative alpha-blocker especially in older patients should be considered and more RCTs should be undertaken.

Hernia : the journal of hernias and abdominal wall surgery. 2023 Mar 23 [Epub ahead of print]

A Drahman, S L Ngee-Soon, M Crawford

Department of Surgery, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, NSW, 2050, Australia. ., Department of Surgery, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, NSW, 2050, Australia.

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