Totally extraperitoneal (TEP) hernia repair after radical prostatectomy or previous lower abdominal surgery: is it safe? A prospective study

J-L Dulucq, P Wintringer, A Mahajna
Surgical Endoscopy 2006, 20 (3): 473-6

BACKGROUND: Many practicing surgeons claim that hernias after previous lower abdominal surgery should be treated by transabdominal preperitoneal repair (TAPP). Moreover, previous radical prostatectomy contraindicates the laparoscopic approach for hernia repair. This prospective study was designed to examine the feasibility and to evaluate the surgical outcome of laparoscopic totally extraperitoneal (TEP) hernia repair in patients who had undergone previous lower abdominal surgery or radical prostatectomy, and to compare this group to all patients who underwent laparoscopic TEP without previous surgery during the study period.

METHODS: Patients undergoing elective inguinal hernia repair, by one staff surgeon, in the Department of Abdominal Surgery at the Institute of Laparoscopic Surgery (ILS, Bordeaux) between September 2003 and December 2004 were prospectively enrolled to this study. Three groups were defined--patients with previous radical prostatectomy, patients with previous lower abdominal surgery, and patients without previous surgery--and their data were analyzed and compared.

RESULTS: A total of 256 laparoscopic inguinal hernia repairs were performed in 202 patients. Of these, 148 patients had unilateral hernia (143 right and 113 left) and 54 patients had bilateral hernias. There were 166 male patients and 36 female patients with a mean age of 61 +/- 16 years. Of these, 10 patients had inguinal hernia after prostatectomy and 15 patients had inguinal hernia after previous lower abdominal surgery. The mean operative time was significantly longer in the patients with previous prostatectomy than in the two other groups. Two patients after prostatectomy were converted to TAPP due to surgical difficulties. There were no major intraoperative complications in all patients except for three cases of bleeding arising from the inferior epigastric artery: two in the postprostatectomy group and one in a patient without previous surgery. Both ambulation and hospital stay were similar for all groups. Only one patient without previous surgery had postoperative bleeding and was reoperated on several hours after the hernia repair. During the follow-up period of 8 +/- 4 months, there was no recurrence of the hernia in any group.

CONCLUSIONS: Laparoscopic TEP for inguinal hernia repair in patients after previous low abdominal surgery has good results, similar to those in patients without previous surgery. Despite a longer operative time, TEP repairs can be performed efficiently and safely in patients after prostatectomy by skilled and experienced laparoscopic surgeons.

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