Laparoscopic repair of large incisional hernias

Harris H Parker, James M Nottingham, Raymond P Bynoe, Michael J Yost
American Surgeon 2002, 68 (6): 530-3; discussion 533-4
Incisional hernias after abdominal operations are a significant cause of long-term morbidity and have been reported to occur in 3 to 20 per cent of laparotomy incisions. Traditional primary suture closure repair is plagued with up to a 50 per cent recurrence rate. With the introduction of prosthetic mesh repair recurrence decreased, but complications with mesh placement emerged ushering in the development of laparoscopic incisional herniorrhaphy. The records of patients who underwent laparoscopic incisional hernia repair between June 1, 1995 and September 1, 2001 were reviewed. Patient demographics, hernia defect size, recurrence, operative time, and procedure-related complications were evaluated. Fifty patients (22 male and 28 female, mean age 57 years with range of 24-83) were scheduled for laparoscopic incisional hernia repair between June 1, 1995 and September 1, 2001. The average patient was obese with a mean body mass index of 35.8 kg/m2 (range 16-57 kg/m2). Two patients (4%) had primary ventral hernias. Forty-eight patients (96%) had incisional hernias with 22 (46%) of these previously repaired with prosthetic mesh. Mean defect size was 206.1 cm2 (range 48-594 cm2). The average mesh size was 510.2 cm2 (range 224-1050 cm2). Gore-Tex DualMesh and Bard Composite Mesh were used in 84 and 16 per cent of the repairs, respectively. Mean operating time was 97 minutes. There were no deaths. Complications were seen in 12 per cent patients (six occurrences) and included two small bowel enterotomies, a symptomatic seroma requiring aspirate, a mesh reaction requiring a short course of intravenous antibiotics, and trocar site pain (two patients). There were no recurrences during a mean follow-up of 41 months (range 3-74 months). We conclude that laparoscopic incisional herniorrhaphy offers a safe and effective repair for large primary and recurrent ventral hernia with low morbidity.

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