Laparoscopic repair of ventral hernias: nine years' experience with 850 consecutive hernias

B Todd Heniford, Adrian Park, Bruce J Ramshaw, Guy Voeller
Annals of Surgery 2003, 238 (3): 391-9; discussion 399-400

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of laparoscopic repair of ventral hernias.

SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: The recurrence rate after standard repair of ventral hernias may be as high as 12-52%, and the wide surgical dissection required often results in wound complications. Use of a laparoscopic approach may decrease rates of complications and recurrence after ventral hernia repair.

METHODS: Data on all patients who underwent laparoscopic ventral hernia repair (LVHR) performed by 4 surgeons using a standardized procedure between November 1993 and October 2002 were collected prospectively (85% of patients) or retrospectively.

RESULTS: LVHR was completed in 819 of the 850 patients (422 men; 428 women) in whom it was attempted. Thirty-four percent of completed LVHRs were for recurrent hernias. The patient mean body mass index was 32; the mean defect size was 118 cm2. Mesh, averaging 344 cm2, was used in all cases. Mean operating time was 120 min, mean estimated blood loss was 49 mL, and hospital stay averaged 2.3 days. There were 128 complications in 112 patients (13.2%). One patient died of a myocardial infarction. The most common complications were ileus (3%) and prolonged seroma (2.6%). During a mean follow-up time of 20.2 months (range, 1-94 months), the hernia recurrence rate was 4.7%. Recurrence was associated with large defects, obesity, previous open repairs, and perioperative complications.

CONCLUSION: In this large series, LVHR had a low rate of conversion to open surgery, a short hospital stay, a moderate complication rate, and a low risk of recurrence.

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