Prospective randomized trial of laparoscopic (transabdominal preperitoneal) vs open (mesh) repair for bilateral and recurrent inguinal hernia

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Laparoscopic hernia repair excites controversy because its benefits are debatable and critics claim it is attended by serious complications. The one group of patients in whom benefits may outweigh the perceived disadvantages are those with bilateral or recurrent inguinal hernias.


One hundred twenty patients with bilateral or recurrent hernias were randomized to either laparoscopic transabdominal preperitoneal (TAPP) or open mesh repair. Patients completed a well-being questionnaire prior to and following surgery together with a visual analog pain score. Patients were followed up clinically at 1 and 3 months and thereafter by their general practitioner.


Age and sex distribution was similar in the two groups. Laparoscopic TAPP hernia was quicker (40 vs 55 min; p < 0.001), less painful (visual analog pain score, 2.8 vs 4.3; p = 0.003) and allowed earlier return to work (11 vs 42 days; p < 0.001) compared to open mesh repair.


This trial demonstrates that laparoscopic hernia repair via the TAPP route offers significant benefit to patients undergoing bilateral or recurrent inguinal hernia repair.

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