Subcutaneous Endoscopic-Assisted Ligation of the Internal Ring for Inguinal Hernia Repair in Neonates Under Spinal Anesthesia

J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A. 2022 May;32(5):561-565. doi: 10.1089/lap.2021.0624. Epub 2022 May 2.


Introduction: While laparoscopy is now widely accepted for inguinal hernia repair in infants, it traditionally has required general anesthesia. We sought to evaluate the safety of laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair in infants under spinal anesthesia. Materials and Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study of all inguinal hernia repairs at a single institution between December 2011 and June 2019 in patients younger than 6 months of age. Four groups were compared: laparoscopic under general anesthesia, laparoscopic with spinal anesthesia, open with spinal anesthesia, and open under general anesthesia. Main outcome measures include operative time, cost, and postoperative outcomes. These were assessed using Kruskal-Wallis median comparison. Results: Of the 226 patients meeting inclusion criteria, 54% (122/226) of patients underwent general anesthesia, while 46% (104/226) had spinal. When compared to general anesthesia, spinal anesthesia was associated with significantly shorter procedure times (P < .01) and lower cost (P < .01) for both open and laparoscopic approaches. Complications were few and underpowered to calculate significance across each group. Conclusions: Laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair can be safely performed in infants under spinal anesthesia without significant compromise of early perioperative outcomes. Advantages may include shorter procedure time and lower cost.

Keywords: SEAL; general anesthesia; pediatric inguinal hernia; spinal anesthesia.

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia, Spinal*
  • Hernia, Inguinal* / surgery
  • Herniorrhaphy / methods
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Laparoscopy* / methods
  • Ligation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome