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Introduction of pediatric laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair in Guatemala.

BMC Surgery 2023 November 28
PURPOSE: Introducing new surgical techniques in a developing country can be challenging. Inguinal hernias in children are a common surgical problem, and open repair is the standard surgical approach. Laparoscopic repair has gained popularity in developed countries because of similar results. This study aimed to determine the outcomes following the introduction of laparoscopic repairs in Guatemala.

METHODS: This retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data from all patients under 18 years who underwent laparoscopic repair at Corpus Christi Hospital in Patzun, Guatemala, from September 5th to September 8th, 2022.

RESULTS: A total of 14 patients were included in the study. A board-certified pediatric surgeon and a Guatemalan physician performed all cases. The mean patient age was 7.6 years; 7 boys and 7 girls. All patients were interviewed at 7 days, 30 days, and 6 months. There were no postoperative infections, pain requiring re-evaluation, gonadal atrophy, or hernia recurrence.

CONCLUSION: Under controlled circumstances with limited but proper equipment and disposables, laparoscopic inguinal hernia repairs can be introduced and performed in a developing country with a risk complication profile comparable to that in developed countries. This study provides promising evidence of laparoscopic repair feasibility and safety where surgical resources are limited.

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