Systematic review of trocar-site hernia

Br J Surg. 2012 Mar;99(3):315-23. doi: 10.1002/bjs.7836. Epub 2011 Dec 30.


Background: Broad implementation of laparoscopic surgery has made trocar-related complications clinically important. Trocar-site hernia (TSH) is an uncommon, but potentially serious, complication that occasionally requires emergency surgery. This systematic review was conducted to establish the prevalence and risk factors for TSH.

Methods: The review was conducted according to the PRISMA guidelines. MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science and the Cochrane Library were searched to 7 June 2010 for studies on TSH.

Results: Twenty-two articles were included. One study was a randomized clinical trial, five were prospective cohort studies and 16 were retrospective cohort studies. The prevalence of TSH is low, with a median pooled estimate of 0·5 (range 0-5·2) per cent. No meta-analysis on risk factors could be performed. Pyramidal trocars, 12-mm trocars and a long duration of surgery were identified as the most important technical risk factors for TSH. Older age and a higher body mass index were observed to be patient-related risk factors.

Conclusion: TSH is an uncommon complication of laparoscopic surgery. The most important technical risk factors are the design and size of the trocars. The scientific evidence for recommendations to avoid TSH is sparse.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Bariatric Surgery / adverse effects
  • Body Mass Index
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / surgery
  • Gynecologic Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Hernia / etiology*
  • Herniorrhaphy / methods
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy / adverse effects*
  • Laparoscopy / instrumentation
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reoperation / statistics & numerical data
  • Sex Factors
  • Surgical Instruments / adverse effects*
  • Surgical Wound Infection / complications
  • Urologic Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Wound Closure Techniques / adverse effects