COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Laparoscopic versus open hernia repair: outcomes and sociodemographic utilization results from the nationwide inpatient sample

Paul D Colavita, Victor B Tsirline, Amanda L Walters, Amy E Lincourt, Igor Belyansky, B Todd Heniford
Surgical Endoscopy 2013, 27 (1): 109-17
22733198

INTRODUCTION: The differences and advantages of laparoscopic (LVHR) and open ventral hernia repair (OVHR) have been debated since laparoscopic hernia repair was first described. The purpose of this study is to compare LVHR and OVHR with mesh in the United States using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS).

METHODS: The NIS, a representative sample of approximately 20% of all inpatient encounters in the United States, was queried for all ventral hernia repairs with graft or prosthesis in 2009 using ICD-9-CM codes. The patients were stratified into LVHR and OVHR groups. Sociodemographic data, comorbidities, complications, and outcomes were compared between groups.

RESULTS: A total of 18,223 cases were documented in the NIS sample after inclusion and exclusion criteria were met. LVHR was performed in 27.6% of cases. There were no statistically significant differences in gender or mean income by zip code of residence. Mean age (58.8 years in open group vs. 58.1 years, p = 0.014) and mean Charlson score (0.97 vs. 0.77, p < 0.0001) differed significantly between groups. OVHR more often was associated with emergent admissions (21.7 vs. 15.2%, p < 0.0001). There were significant differences comparing outcomes between groups: complication rate (OVHR: 8.24 vs. LVHR: 3.97%, p < 0.0001), average length of stay (5.2 vs. 3.5 days, p < 0.0001), total charge ($45,708 vs. $35,947, p < 0.0001), frequency of routine discharge (80.8 vs. 91.1%, p < 0.0001), and mortality rate (0.88 vs. 0.36%, p = 0.0002). After controlling for confounding variables with multivariate regression, all outcomes remained significant between groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients who have undergone LVHR with mesh had fewer complications, shorter length of stay, lower hospital charges, more frequent routine discharge, and decreased mortality compared with those who received open repair. Patient comorbidities, selection bias, and emergency operations may limit the number of patients who receive laparoscopic ventral hernia repair. Regionalization studies may better illuminate the low rates of laparoscopic surgery.

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