Mini- or Less-open Sublay Operation (MILOS): A New Minimally Invasive Technique for the Extraperitoneal Mesh Repair of Incisional Hernias

Ann Surg. 2019 Apr;269(4):748-755. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000002661.


Objective: Improvement of ventral hernia repair.

Background: Despite the use of mesh and other recent improvements, the currently popular techniques of ventral hernia repair have specific disadvantages and risks.

Methods: We developed the endoscopically assisted mini- or less-open sublay (MILOS) concept. The operation is performed transhernially via a small incision with light-holding laparoscopic instruments either under direct, or endoscopic visualization. An endoscopic light tube was developed to facilitate this approach (EndotorchTM Wolf Company). Each MILOS operation can be converted to standard total extraperitoneal gas endoscopy once an extraperitoneal space of at least 8 cm has been created. All MILOS operations were prospectively documented in the German Hernia registry with 1 year questionnaire follow-up. Propensity score matching of incisional hernia operations comparing the results of the MILOS operation with the laparoscopic intraperitoneal onlay mesh operation (IPOM) and open sublay repair from other German Hernia registry institutions was performed.

Results: Six hundred fifteen MILOS incisional hernia operations were included. Compared with laparoscopic IPOM incisional hernia operation, the MILOS repair is associated with significantly a fewer postoperative surgical complications (P < 0.001) general complications (P < 0.004), recurrences (P < 0.001), and less chronic pain (P < 0.001). Matched pair analysis with open sublay repair revealed significantly a fewer postoperative complications (P < 0.001), reoperations (P < 0.001), infections (P = 0.007), general complications (P < 0.001), recurrences (P = 0.017), and less chronic pain (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: The MILOS technique allows minimally invasive transhernial repair of incisional hernias using large retromuscular/preperitoneal meshes with low morbidity. The technique combines the advantages of open sublay and the laparoscopic IPOM Identifier NCT03133000.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Herniorrhaphy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Incisional Hernia / surgery*
  • Laparoscopy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peritoneum
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surgical Mesh*

Associated data