Is laparoscopic umbilical hernia repair with mesh a reasonable alternative to conventional repair?

Byron E Wright, Jason Beckerman, Melissa Cohen, John K Cumming, Jorge L Rodriguez
American Journal of Surgery 2002, 184 (6): 505-8; discussion 508-9

BACKGROUND: Laparoscopic mesh repair has been advocated as treatment of choice for ventral hernias. The term "ventral hernia" refers to a variety of abdominal wall defects and laparoscopic papers have not reported defect specific analysis. The purpose of this study was to determine any advantages to laparoscopic mesh repair of umbilical hernias.

METHODS: A retrospective review (January 1998 to April 2001) was made of patients undergoing umbilical hernia repair. Patients were categorized into three groups: laparoscopic repair with mesh, open repair with mesh, and open repair without mesh. Comparative analysis was performed.

RESULTS: One-hundred and sixteen umbilical hernia repairs were performed in 112 patients: 30 laparoscopic mesh repairs, 20 open mesh repairs, and 66 open nonmesh repairs. The laparoscopic technique was used for larger defects and took more time with a trend toward fewer postoperative complications and recurrences.

CONCLUSIONS: Laparoscopic umbilical hernia repair with mesh presents a reasonable alternative to conventional methods of repair.

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