Laparoscopic ventral hernia repair: a report of 100 consecutive cases

B T Heniford, B J Ramshaw
Surgical Endoscopy 2000, 14 (5): 419-23

INTRODUCTION: Effective surgical therapy for ventral and incisional hernias is problematic. Recurrence rates following primary repair range as high as 25-49%, and breakdown following conventional treatment of recurrent hernias can exceed 50%. As an alternative, laparoscopic techniques offer the potential benefits of decreased pain and a shorter hospital stay. This study evaluates the efficacy of the laparoscopic approach for ventral herniorrhaphy.

METHODS: A retrospective review was performed for 100 consecutive patients with ventral hernias who underwent laparoscopic repair at our institutions between November 1995 and May 1998. All patients who presented during this period and were candidates for a mesh hernia repair were treated via an endoscopic approach.

RESULTS: One hundred patients underwent a laparoscopic ventral hernia repair. There were 48 men and 52 women. The patients were typically obese, with a mean body mass index (BMI) of 31 kg/m(2). Each had undergone an average of 2.5 (range; 0-8) previous laparotomies. Forty-nine repairs were performed for recurrent hernias. An average of two patients (range; 1-7) had previously failed open herniorhaphies; in 20 cases, intraabdominal polypropylene mesh was present. There were no conversions to open operation. The mean size of the defects was large at 87 cm(2) (range; 1-480). In all cases, the mesh (average, 287 cm(2)) was secured with transabdominal sutures and metal tacks or staples. Operative time and estimated blood loss averaged 88 min (range; 18-270) and 30 cc (range; 10-150). Length of stay averaged 1. 6 days (range; 0-4). There were 12 minor and (two) major complications: cellulitis of the trocar site (two), seroma lasting >4 weeks (three), postoperative ileus (two), suture site pain > 2 weeks (two), urinary retention (one), respiratory distress (one), serosal bowel injury (one), and skin breakdown (one) and bowel injury (one). Both of the latter complications required mesh removal. With an average follow-up of 22.5 months (range; 7-37), there have been (three) recurrences.

CONCLUSION: The laparoscopic approach to the repair of both primary and recurrent ventral hernias offers a low conversion rate, a short hospital stay, and few complications. At 23 months of follow-up, the recurrence rate has been 3%. Laparoscopic repair should be considered a viable option for any ventral hernia.

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