Background: We designed a study to determine the rate of intra- and postoperative complications as well as the rate of recurrences in elective operated femoral hernias treated via the laparoscopic technique.
Methods: Between 1993 and 1998, we performed 1,097 operations in our department using the laparoscopic transabdominal preperitoneal (TAPP) technique. Femoral hernias amounted to only 4.6% (51 cases) of these patients. The male/female ratio was 1:2. The data concerning the operations and pre- and postoperative treatment were recorded prospectively. The patients were followed up at 2 weeks and 1 year after the operation.
Results: We encountered one intraoperative bladder lesion, one subcutaneous port site infection, two postoperative hematomas that required reoperation, and two nerve irritation syndromes, which disappeared spontaneously after 6 months. Two patients developed an ileus; one required laparoscopic reintervention, and the other was treated with conventional open reoperation and intestinal resection. There were no recurrences.
Conclusions: The application of the laparoscopic approach to the treatment of femoral hernias using the TAPP technique in nonemergency situations is highly effective. To date, we have seen no recurrences. Although the rate of major complications is low, current surgical techniques need to be perfected to avoid the type of complication recognized in this study.
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