Laparoscopic Ventral Hernia Repair: Are There Comparative Advantages over Traditional Methods of Repair?

Wright, Byron E.; Niskanen, Brian D.; Peterson, Debra J.; Ney, Arthur L.; Odland, Mark D.; Vancamp, Joan; Zera, Richard T.; Rodriguez, Jorge L.
March 2002
American Surgeon;Mar2002, Vol. 68 Issue 3, p291
Academic Journal
Recent studies have noted advantages of laparoscopic over open repair of ventral hernias. Because few reports have involved comparison with traditional repair we report a comparison between laparoscopic and open approaches. We retrospectively reviewed the records of patients undergoing ventral hernia repair over a 28-month period. Patients were grouped into three categories: laparoscopic repair with mesh, open repair with mesh, and open repair without mesh. There were 295 ventral hernia repairs and there was no difference in age, gender, operative complications, or hospital stay between the groups. Mesh and defect size was greater in the laparoscopic group. The overall postoperative complication rate was greater in the open group with mesh. Yet when specific wound complications were analyzed there was no difference between the groups. Furthermore a death occurred in the laparoscopic group from an unrecognized bowel injury. The recurrence rate was greatest in the open repair without mesh group. Finally hospital cost was greatest in the laparoscopic group and third-party reimbursement was better for the open techniques. We were unable to demonstrate a significant advantage to laparoscopic ventral hernia repair. Although many patients with large fascial defects were well served with this approach it may not be a better option for these patients.


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