Laparoscopic ventral hernia repair (LVHR) in morbidly obese patients

Z Tsereteli, B A Pryor, B T Heniford, A Park, G Voeller, B J Ramshaw
Hernia: the Journal of Hernias and Abdominal Wall Surgery 2008, 12 (3): 233-8

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate our experience with LVHR in morbidly obese patients (BMI >40) and to compare their outcomes to those of patients with lower BMI.

METHODS: Data on adult (>18 years old) patients who underwent LVHR with mesh over the last 13 years performed by four experienced surgeons were collected retrospectively and from a previously collected database. Of the 1,071 patients, 901 had completed LVHR and were available for follow-up. One hundred and thirty-four patients (group A) met BMI criteria for morbid obesity (>or=40, mean 46), 767 patients had BMI < 40, mean 30 (group B). The follow-up time ranged from 1 to 91 months. The Wilcoxon rank sum test was used for nonparametric data analysis. Outcomes were stratified on the follow up time and analyzed using Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel methodology.

RESULTS: The groups did not differ in terms of ASA score, previous surgery and conversion rate (p=0.22, 0.32 and 0.23). Morbidly obese patients were younger (48.3 vs. 54; p<0.01) and were more often female (p=0.02), but this did not correlate with outcome. Group A also had longer operative time (154 vs. 119 min, p<0.01) and hospital stay (3.6 vs. 2.4 days, p=0.03). Mesh size was significantly larger in group A (449 vs. 349 cm(2), p=002). During mean follow-up time of 19 months hernia recurrence was 8.3% in group A and 2.9% in group B (p=0.003), with an odds ratio of 4.3 (95% CI 1.9-9.9). However, there was no significant difference in the rate of complications (19.7 vs. 15.3%; p=0.46).

CONCLUSIONS: LVHR in the morbidly obese population is both safe and feasible, although there is a higher, but still acceptable recurrence rate. Despite the increased risk for recurrence, LVHR in morbidly obese patients minimizes the potential wound and mesh complications that frequently occur for open mesh repair in this group of patients.

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