Purpose: The laparoscopic treatment of ventral incisional hernias is the object of constant attention and is becoming increasingly widespread in the international scientific-surgical community; however, there is ample debate on its technical details and indications. In order to establish a common approach on laparoscopic ventral incisional hernia repair, the first Italian Consensus Conference was organized in Naples (Italy) on 14-15 January 2010.
Methods: The format of the Consensus Conference was freely adapted from the standards of the National Institute of Health and the Italian Health Institute. The parties involved included the followings: a Promotional Committee, a Scientific Committee, a group of Experts, the Jury Panel and a Scientific Secretariat.
Results: Eleven statements, regarding three large chapters on the indications, the technical details and the management of complications were drafted on the basis of literature references collected by the Scientific Committee, documents developed by the Experts, reports presented and discussed during the Consensus Conference, and discussion among the members of the Jury.
Conclusions: The laparoscopic approach is safe and effective for defects larger than 3 cm in diameter; old age, obesity, previous abdominal operations, recurrence and strangulation are not absolute contraindications. Ensuring an adequate overlap, careful adhesiolysis and correct fixing of the prosthesis are among the technical details recommended. Complications and recurrences are comparable to, and in some cases, less numerous than with the open approach.