, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 23-27
Date: 20 Sep 2003

Laparoscopic ventral and incisional hernia repair: An 11-year experience

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Abstract

Incisional hernias develop in 2%–20% of laparotomy incisions, necessitating approximately 90,000 ventral hernia repairs per year. Although a common general surgical problem, a "best" method for repair has yet to be identified, as evidenced by documented recurrence rates of 25%–52% with primary open repair. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of laparoscopic ventral and incisional herniorrhaphy. From February 1991 through November 2002, a total of 384 patients were treated by laparoscopic technique for primary and recurrent umbilical hernias, ventral incisional hernias, and spigelian hernias. The technique was essentially the same for each procedure and involved lysis of adhesions, reduction of hernia contents, closure of the defect, and 3–5 cm circumferential mesh coverage of all hernias. Of the 384 patients in our study group, there were 212 females and 172 males with a mean age of 58.3 years (range 27–100 years). Ninety-six percent of the hernia repairs were completed laparoscopically. Mean operating time was 68 min (range 14–405 min), and estimated average blood loss was 25 mL (range 10–200 mL). The mean postoperative hospital stay was 2.9 days and ranged from same-day discharge to 36 days. The overall postoperative complication rate was 10.1%. There have been 11 recurrences (2.9%) during a mean follow-up time of 47.1 months (range 1–141 months). Laparoscopic ventral and incisional hernia repair, based on the Rives-Stoppa technique, is a safe, feasible, and effective alternative to open techniques. More long-term follow-up is still required to further evaluate the true effectiveness of this operation.