Introduction. Although inguinal hernia repair is a routine procedure and frequently performed as one-day surgery, we should be particularly aware of the possible complications, which could be life-threatening if not recognized in due course.
Case report. We report a case of life-threatening extra-peritoneal bleeding after open inguinal hernia repair requiring damage control surgery.
Discussion. Several vessels can be responsible for massive extraperitoneal bleeding - external iliac vessels, lower epigastric artery, crema steric vessels and corona mortis. Although damage control surgery was developed to treat the severe trauma, it can also be a life-saving maneuver in cases as the presented one. Hemodynamic instability with distended abdomen is a primary indication for laparotomy, but in some cases the contrast CT provides valuable information about the location and the size of hematoma and can guide the operative approach - midline laparotomy or revision of the wound as in our case.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported case of life-threatening retroperitoneal bleeding after open inguinal hernia repair. The present case is a good example for the application of damage control in pathology considered as one-day surgery.
Conclusions. Although casuistic, the life-threatening bleeding after open hernia repair should be suspected. The prompt surgical response with damage control can be life-saving maneuver even in the routine hernia surgery. Detailed knowledge of the anatomy and carefull dissection are required to avoid this kind of complications.
KEY WORDS: Open inguinal hernia repair - Life-threatening retroperitoneal bleeding - Damage control surgery.