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Intraoperative adjunctive techniques to reduce seroma formation in laparoscopic inguinal hernioplasty: a systematic review

  • J. LiEmail author
  • W. Gong
  • Q. Liu
Original Article



Seroma formation is the most common postoperative complication after laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair. Recurrence and seroma formation may be difficult to distinguish. Many adjunctive techniques with which to reduce the incidence of seroma formation after laparoscopic inguinal repair have been described in the literature; however, the evidence for using intraoperative adjunctive techniques is limited. Therefore, the present systematic review was performed to evaluate the effects and limitations of adjunctive techniques used during laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair.


Major databases (PubMed, Embase, Springer, and Cochrane Library) were searched using the terms “seroma,” “laparoscopic inguinal hernia”, “TAPP”, “TEP”, “inguinal hernia”, “tack”, “barbed suture”, “drainage”, “Endoloop technique”, and “fibrin sealant”. All studies involving adults undergoing laparoscopic/endoscopic inguinal hernioplasty with at least one intervention designed to reduce seroma formation were included.


Of the 965 studies identified, 8 met the inclusion criteria. Six adjunctive techniques were described in the literature. Transversalis fascia (TF) inversion with tacking: one prospective non-randomized controlled study revealed a lower incidence of postoperative seroma after TF inversion with tacking for direct inguinal hernias (4.17% vs. 14.29%, P < 0.05). Endoloop technique: one prospective study of 76 cases involving this technique revealed a low incidence of seroma formation (3.9% at 2 weeks) in direct hernias. Barbed suture closure of TF: one prospective study of 36 direct hernias reported only one clinical palpable seroma that resolved 1 month later. Surgical drains: three trials reported the results of drains, and the pooling results demonstrated significantly less seroma formation in patients with surgical drains (2.1 vs. 23.8%; odds ratio 0.12; 95% confidence interval 0.08–0.19; P < 0.0001). Fibrin sealant: one prospective clinical study of 40 patients with indirect inguinal hernias reported a lower volume (P < 0.001) and lower incidence (5% vs. 15%) of seroma formation in the fibrin group. Distal sac fixation technique: in one prospective study of six patients with large inguinoscrotal hernias, one patient developed a seroma on postoperative day 8.


Seroma formation is a natural process that cannot be completely prevented following laparoscopic inguinal hernioplasty, especially in patients with direct and large indirect inguinal hernias. Some intraoperative adjunctive techniques are effective in reducing clinically palpable seroma formation in select patients. More randomized controlled trials are needed for further evaluation.


Inguinal hernia Seroma Laparoscopic Drainage Barbed suture Endoloop Tack 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This study design conformed to ethical standards.

Human and animal rights

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

There were no individual participants included in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of General Surgery, Affiliated Zhongda HospitalSoutheast UniversityNanjingChina

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