, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 363–369 | Cite as

Laparoscopic repair of traumatic flank hernias

  • Y. W. Novitsky
Original Article



Traumatic flank hernias (TFH) are caused by a blunt abdominal trauma with resultant detachment of the oblique musculofascial complex at the iliac crest and/or costal margin. Given such proximity to the bony structures and essential absence of healthy fascia to anchor the mesh, TFH represent a challenging surgical problem. Although laparoscopic repair of ventral hernias has become very common, no series of laparoscopic repairs of TFH has been reported to date. We present a series of patients undergoing laparoscopic repair of TFH.


After retrospective review of prospective hernia database at two Hernia centers, patients undergoing laparoscopic TFH repair were identified and analyzed. Main outcome measures included patient demographics, surgical technique, intraoperative data, and post-operative outcomes.


From December 2007 to December 2013, 14 patients underwent laparoscopic repair of a TFH. Eleven patients had chronically incarcerated viscera within the defect. Operative steps included complete reduction of the hernia sac, pre/retroperitoneal dissection to expose the entire lateral edge of a psoas muscle, defect closure with transabdominal sutures, wide mesh overlap, and transabdominal suture fixation with selective use of bone anchors. The mean operative time was 174 min (range 125–230). Mean estimated blood loss was 65 cc. Mean mesh size was 295 cm2. There were no peri-operative complications. Mean hospital stay was 3.1 days and all patients returned to full activities by 6 weeks. At a mean follow-up of 35 months, there have been no recurrences.


Laparoscopic approach to TFH is feasible and safe. It is associated with minimal hospital stay and fast functional recovery. The key components of our approach include wide pre/retroperitoneal with defect closure and subsequent wide mesh underlay coverage with fixation to bony structures using anchors/screws. We believe that the laparoscopic approach should safely considered for the majority of patients with TFH.


Traumatic flank hernia Laparoscopic hernia repair Hernia 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

This study was not funded. YWN has received research and educational grants from CR Bard and consulting fees from CR Bard, Cooper Surgical, and Intuitive Surgical outside the submitted work.

Ethical Approval

For this retrospective review, ethical approval is not required.

Human and animal rights

The article does not contain any animal studies.

Informed consent

For this retrospective review, formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity of Connecticut Medical CenterFarmingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryUniversity Hospitals Case Medical CenterClevelandUSA

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