Laparoscopic Ventral Hernia Repair Reduces Wound Complications

Robbins, Scott B.; Pofahl, Walter E.; Gonzalez, Richard P.
September 2001
American Surgeon;Sep2001, Vol. 67 Issue 9, p896
Academic Journal
Postoperative wound complications can be a source of significant morbidity after open ventral hernia repair. By using smaller incisions a laparoscopic approach may decrease this complication. To determine the rate of wound complications after laparoscopic ventral hernia repair prospectively collected data on morbidity in 54 consecutive patients undergoing ventral hernia repair were analyzed. Wound complications were classified as major if there was an open wound or treatment with intravenous antibiotics was required. Minor wound complications consisted of wound erythema or drainage that was treated on an outpatient basis. Eighteen patients underwent open ventral hernia repair. Thirty-six patients underwent attempted laparoscopic repair; five required conversion to an open procedure. Wound complications occurred in 28 and 16 per cent of patients undergoing open and successful laparoscopic repairs, respectively. However, only 3 per cent of patients undergoing laparoscopic repair had a major wound complication as compared with 22 per cent of patients undergoing open herniorrhaphy. Two-thirds of the major wound complications in the attempted laparoscopic group occurred in patients requiring conversion to an open procedure. Laparoscopic ventral hernia repair is a safe and effective alternative to conventional open ventral hernia repair. The main advantage of this minimally invasive approach is a decrease in the rate of major wound complications.


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