Laparoscopic hernia repairs are used increasingly in children.
The purpose of this single-center cohort observational research study was to analyze the outcome of children treated surgically for unilateral or bilateral inguinal hernia using laparoscopy.
We did a STROBE-compliant retrospective outcome analysis of pediatric, laparoscopic hernia repair. Consecutive laparoscopic herniorrhaphies in 123 children done between March 2, 2010, and March 1, 2014, were included in this analysis. Data analysis was based on reviewing the hospital records and a prospective questionnaire. We evaluated postoperative hernia recurrence rate, occurrence of postoperative complications, duration of postoperative pain medication, and wound cosmesis.
We first performed laparoscopic inguinal herniorrhaphy according to the techniques described by Schier et al and Becmeur et al in March 2010. We treated 46 girls and 77 boys with laparoscopically confirmed inguinal hernias, and their ages ranged from 0 to 16 years. Of these, 77 children suffered from unilateral hernias, 30 from unilateral hernias with contralateral patency of the vaginal process, and 16 from indirect bilateral hernias. The median follow-up interval was 38 months (range: 13–58 months). Overall, 8 (6.5%) of these 123 patients experienced a recurrence of the inguinal hernia. Two patients (1.6%) suffered a postoperative infection. Postoperative pain medication was administered by parents for 1 to 3 days in 67 (63.8%) of the 105 families who answered the question, and no pain medication was administered by 5 (4.0%) parents. Wound cosmesis was rated by the parents as invisible or barely visible in 106 (86.2%) of 123 patients and esthetically disturbing in 4 (3.2%) children.
Laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair carries a learning curve and is safe and efficient in children thereafter. Further prospective studies are required to evaluate the long-term outcome of laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair in children.