Background: Laparoscopic hernia repair has been gaining acceptance as an alternative to open repair. The aim of this study was to present the experience of a general surgery ward with laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair.
Materials and methods: A retrospective search of all laparoscopic inguinal hernia repairs between January 1999 and December 2003 was obtained. Data, including perioperative course, postoperative complication, and long-term follow-up, was documented.
Results: A total of 423 hernias were repaired in 220 patients. Long-term follow-up was performed by questionnaire, clinic visit, or both in 182 of the 220 patients (82.7%). Median follow-up time was 27.5 (range, 4-61) months. Two hundred and three (92.3%) hernias were bilateral. Fifty-seven patients (25.9%) had recurrent hernias. There was no conversion to an open hernia repair. There were 10 recurrences (2.3%). Minor complications (e.g., abdominal wall hematoma, epigastric vessels injury, and urinary retention requiring catheterization) occurred in 17 (7.7%) patients. A bladder injury occurred in 1 patient (0.45%). There was no mortality. Mean postoperative stay was 1.1 days (range, 1-10). Satisfaction with the laparoscopic repair was expressed by using a scoring system of 1 to 5, with 85.2% being very satisfied (score of 4-5) and 8.2% being dissatisfied (score of 1-2).
Conclusions: The laparoscopic herniorrhaphy offers a safe and effective repair with acceptable complication and recurrence rates. Good results with the total extraperitoneal technique can be achieved by general laparoscopists and not only in highly specialized hernia centers. It is especially suited for bilateral repair and for recurrent hernias.