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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 7-11

Controversies in laparoscopic repair of incisional hernia


Consultant in Upper GI and Minimally Invasive Surgery, Hon. Senior Lecturer in Surgery, The General Infirmary at Leeds, The University of Leeds School of Medicine, Leeds LS1 3EX, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Abeezar I Sarela
B37 Clarendon Wing, The General Infirmary at Leeds, The University of Leeds School of Medicine, Leeds LS1 3EX
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-9941.25670

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Background: Incisional hernias can be a significant problem after open abdominal surgery. Laparoscopic incisional hernia repair (LIHR) is conceptually appealing: a large, abdominal wall re-incision with potential wound-related ill effects is avoided and an intra-peritoneal onlay mesh is expected to provide security that is equivalent to open, retro-muscular mesh repair. As such, LIHR has gained substantial popularity despite sparse, randomised clinical data to compare with conventional, open repair. Aim: To enumerate and discuss important, controversial issues in patient-selection, technique and early post-operative care for LIHR. Materials and Methods: Pragmatic summary of comprehensive review of English language literature, discussion with experts and personal experience. Outcomes: Six important areas of some dispute were identified: 1. Size of abdominal-wall defect that is suitable for LIHR: Generally, defect-diameter > 10 cm is better served by open retromuscular repair with tension-free re-approximation of the edges of the defect. 2. Extent of adhesiolysis: Complete division of adhesions to the anterior abdominal wall may identify sub-clinical "Swiss-cheese" defects but incurs some risk of additional complications. 3. Intra-operative recognition of enterotomy: Possible options are either laparoscopic suture of bowel injury and simultaneous completion of LIHR, or staged LIHR or conversion to open suture-repair. 4. Choice of mesh: "Composite" meshes are regarded as the current standard of care but there is paucity of data regarding potential dangers of intra-peritoneal polypropylene mesh. 5. Technique of mesh-fixation: Trans-parietal sutures are more secure than tacks, with limited data to correlate with post-operative pain. 6. Alarm over post-operative pain: Unlike other advanced laparoscopic operations, the specificity of pain as a marker of intra-abdominal sepsis after LIHR remains unclear. Conclusion : Recognition of and attention to controversial issues will promote increased success of LIHR.






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