Laparoscopic transabdominal preperitoneal (TAPP) hernia repair
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This report reviews our experience with 3530 transabdominal preperitoneal (TAPP) hernia repairs in 3017 patients (513 bilateral) over the 7-year period from May 1992 to July 1999. We have continually audited our practice and modified the techniques in response.
Unless contraindicated, laparoscopic TAPP repair is considered the procedure of choice at our institution for all reducible inguinal hernias. We initially stapled an 11×6 cm polypropylene mesh in the preperitoneal space but now place a 15×10 cm mesh in the preperitoneal space with sutured peritoneal closure.
There have been a total of 22 recurrences, of which 17 were identified in the first 325 repairs (5%) using the 11 × 6 cm mesh. Five recurrences occurred in the later 3205 repairs (0.16%) (median follow up of 45 months). There was one 30-day death unrelated to the procedure. There have been seven conversions (four due to irreducibility, two due to extensive adhesions, one due to bleeding). Bladder perforations have occurred in seven cases, of which six were recognized immediately and treated laparoscopically without sequelae. There have been seven cases of small bowel obstruction from herniation through the peritoneal closure. Sutured repair of the peritoneum has reduced the incidence of this complication. Four patients had mesh infections, of whom three were treated conservatively. The incidence of postoperative seroma and hematoma was 8%. Median operation time remains at 40 min with a mean hospitalization of 0.9 nights. Sixty percent of TAPP hernia repairs are now performed on the Day Surgical Unit with a 3% admission rate. Median return to normal activities is 7 days. Forty percent of patients require no postoperative analgesia. These figures remain the same whether the hernia is primary, recurrent, unilateral, or bilateral. Consultants performed most operations early in the series, but latterly surgical trainees have performed the majority of these procedures under supervision.
Laparoscopic TAPP hernia repair is technically difficult, but in the hands of a well-trained surgeon, it is safe and effective with a high degree of patient satisfaction. The low recurrence rate compares favorably to other tension-free mesh hernia repairs.
Key wordsLaparoscopy Transabdominal preperitoneal inguinal hernia TAPP repair Hernia
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