Recurrence after laparoscopic ventral hernia repair

M Rosen, F Brody, J Ponsky, R M Walsh, S Rosenblatt, F Duperier, A Fanning, A Siperstein
Surgical Endoscopy 2003, 17 (1): 123-8

BACKGROUND: Although the early results of laparoscopic ventral hernia repair have shown a low recurrence rate, there is a paucity of long-term data. This study reviews a single institution's experience with laparoscopic ventral hernia repair (LVHR).

METHODS: We carried out a retrospective analysis of all LVHR performed at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation from January 1996 to March 2001. Recurrence rates were determined by physical exam or telephone follow-up. Factors predictive of recurrence were determined using Cox regression.

RESULTS: Of 100 ventral hernias completed laparoscopically, 96 were available for long-term follow-up (average, 30 months; range 4-65). There were no deaths and major morbidity occurred in seven patients. Recurrences were identified in 17 patients. Nine recurrences occurred in the 1st postoperative year; however, hernia recurrence continued throughout the period of follow-up. Multivariate analysis showed that a prior failed hernia repair was associated with a more likely chance of another recurrence (65% vs 35%, odds ratio (OR) 3.6; p = 0.05) and that an increased estimated blood loss (106 cc vs 51 cc, OR 1.03; p = 0.005) predicted recurrence. Other variables, including body mass index (BMI) (32 vs 31 kg/m2, p = 0.38), defect size (115 cm2 vs 91 cm2; p = 0.23), size of mesh (468 cm2 vs 334 cm2, p = 0.19), type of mesh (p = 0.62), and mesh fixation (p = 0.99), did not predict recurrence. An additional 14 cases required conversion to an open operation, and seven of these cases (50%) had recurrence on long-term follow-up.

CONCLUSION: Although LVHR remains the preferred method of hernia repair at our institution, this study documents a higher recurrence rate than many other short-term series. There results underscore the importance of long-term follow-up in assessing hernia surgery outcome.

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