Totally extraperitoneal repair of obturator hernia

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One distinct advantage of the 1aparoscopic inguinal hernia repair is the opportunity for clear visualization of the direct, indirect, femoral, and obturator spaces. The surgeon should routinely inspect all of them. Obturator hernia accounts for as few as 0.073% of all hernias, but the mortality rate when it is acutely incarcerated can be as high as 70%. There is only one previous report of a totally extraperitoneal repair for obturator hernia. Five such procedures are described.


A retrospective review was undertaken to evaluate one surgeon's experience with the totally extraperitoneal repair of obturator hernia over a 4-year period. Four of five cases were completed, and the remaining case was converted to an open procedure.


Three hernias were on the right side, and two on the left. One patient presented with an acutely incarcerated obturator hernia and underwent a small bowel resection for strangulated bowel within the obturator space. The other four hernias were found during totally extraperitoneal repair, and the patients were discharged home several hours later. There was one complication, a midline wound infection in the patient with strangulated bowel. It was treated with dressing changes. There were no other complications, and during a follow-up period of 3 to 48 months, there was no recurrence.


The laparoscopic totally extraperitoneal approach allows inspection and repair of direct, indirect, femoral, and obturator hernias. This study found this procedure to be feasible, safe, and highly effective for the diagnosis and repair of obturator hernias.

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