Laparoscopic Incisional Hernia Repair in Liver Transplant and Other Immunosuppressed Patients



We report the early results of laparoscopic incisional hernia repair in a small group of immunosuppressed patients and compare these results with a cohort of patients with open repair. We describe a modification used to secure the cephalad portion of the Gore-Tex® mesh in high epigastric incisional hernias often encountered after liver transplantation. Data were gathered retrospectively for all incisional hernia repairs by our group from March 1996 to January 2001. Twelve of 13 attempted patients had successful completion of their laparoscopic hernia repairs with no reported recurrences to date. Two of these procedures were performed for recurrent hernias. We completed nine of nine attempted laparoscopic hernia repairs in liver transplant patients with epigastric incisional hernias. We repaired two of three attempted lower midline incisional hernias in renal disease patients. One of these patients was soon able to reuse his peritoneal dialysis catheter. A total of 15 patients, 12 with liver transplants, underwent open repair of their incisional hernias. These patients had seven recurrences and/or serious mesh infections with five patients electing repeated operations. In our initial series, laparoscopic mesh repair of incisional hernias is practical and safe in the abdominal organ transplant population with a low incidence of early recurrence and serious infections.