Introduction: Several studies and meta-analysis showed Single-port or Single-incision laparoscopic surgery (SPL) to be superior over Multiport laparoscopic surgery (MPL) mainly in terms of postoperative pain and cosmetic result. But very little is known whether these results are only a short-term effect or are persistent on the long run after SPL. We therefore evaluated and compared long-term outcomes regarding cosmesis and chronic pain after SPL and MPL.
Methods: We conducted a comparative study with propensity score matching of all patients undergoing SPL or MPL between October 2008 and December 2013 in terms of postoperative cosmetic results and chronic pain. Follow-up data were obtained from mailed patient questionnaires and telephone interviews. Postoperative cosmesis was assessed using the patients overall scar opinion on a 10-point scale and the Patients scale of the standardized Patient and Observer Scar assessment scale (POSAS). Chronic pain was assessed by 10-point scales for abdominal and umbilical scar pain.
Results: A total of 280 patients were included in the study with 188 patients (67.1%) after SPL and 92 patients (32.9%) following MPL. 141 patients (50.4%) underwent a cholecystectomy and 139 patients (49.6%) underwent an appendectomy. The mean follow-up time was 61.1 ± 19.1 months. The mean wound satisfaction assed by the overall scar and the PSOAS Patients scale score of the patients showed no significant difference between MPL and SPL. Patients after SPL reported more overall complains than after MPL (8.7% vs. 2.5%, respectively), but without statistical significance (p = 0.321). Umbilical pain scores were comparable between the two groups (1.4 ± 1.0 vs. 1.4 ± 1.0, p = 0.831).
Conclusion: We found no difference in long-term cosmetic outcomes after SPL and MPL. Chronic pain at the umbilical incision site was comparable on the long run.