Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 50–54 | Cite as

Laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair

Lessons learned after 1224 consecutive cases
  • B. Ramshaw
  • F. W. Shuler
  • H. B. Jones
  • T. D. Duncan
  • J. White
  • R. Wilson
  • G. W. Lucas
  • E. M. Mason
Original Articles



Despite numerous attempts to improve the techniques used for hernia repair, current published series show that recurrence rates are as high as 5–20%. The complexity of inguinal anatomy, combined with multiple potential areas of weakness, has contributed to the difficulty in preventing recurrences. However, the laparoscopic approach to inguinal herniorrhaphy has allowed clear visualization of all preperitoneal fascial planes and anatomic landmarks, as well as the hernia defect(s) and the peritoneal reflection. In the course of our performance of a series of 1,224 laparoscopic inguinal hernia repairs, we have developed a total extraperitoneal approach that yields excellent results with a low initial recurrence rate. Herein we describe our experience.


After our initial 300 transabdominal preperitoneal (TAPP) hernia repairs, which resulted in six recurrences, two bowel injuries, one bladder injury, and six cutaneous nerve injuries, the total extraperitoneal approach (TEP) was adopted.


The first 300 TEP repairs resulted in one recurrence, two bowel injuries, one bladder injury, and two cutaneous nerve injuries. All major complications occurred in patients who had had previous lower abdominal surgery. In the last 624 TEP herniorrhaphies we implemented some modifications to the technique, especially for patients with previous lower abdominal surgery. In this group we recorded one bladder injury, no cutaneous nerve injuries, and one recurrence.


The total extraperitoneal approach for laparoscopic herniorrhaphy allows for a safe and effective repair with low rates of complication and recurrence. A thorough knowledge of the anatomy of the extraperitoneal space and especially the two- and three-dimensional inguinal anatomy of this space contributed greatly to the evolution of our technique.

Key words

complications Hernia repair Laparoscopic herniorrhaphy Open tension-free herniorrhaphy Recurrence rates Total extraperitoneal approach (TEP) Transabdominal preperitoneal approach (TAPP) 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Ramshaw
    • 1
  • F. W. Shuler
    • 1
  • H. B. Jones
    • 1
  • T. D. Duncan
    • 1
  • J. White
    • 1
  • R. Wilson
    • 1
  • G. W. Lucas
    • 1
  • E. M. Mason
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryAtlanta Medical CenterAtlantaUSA

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