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Keywords:

  • ePTFE mesh;
  • incisional hernia;
  • laparoscopy;
  • ventral hernia

Incisional hernia is a relatively frequent complication of abdominal surgery. The use of mesh to repair incisional and ventral hernias results in lower recurrence rates compared with primary suture techniques. The laparoscopic approach may be associated with lower postoperative morbidity compared with open procedures. Long-term recurrence rates after laparoscopic ventral and incisional hernias are not well defined. A prospective study of the initial experience of a standardized technique of laparoscopic incisional and ventral hernia repair carried out in a tertiary referral hospital was undertaken between January 2003 and February 2007. Laparoscopic hernia repair was attempted in 71 patients and was successful in 68 (conversion rate 4%). The mean age of the patients identified was 63.1 years (39 men and 31 women). Multiple hernial defects were identified in 38 patients (56%), and the mean overall size of the fascial defects was 166 cm2. The mean mesh size used was 403 cm2. The mean operative time was 121 minutes. There were six (9%) major complications in this series, but there were no deaths. Hernia recurrence was noted in four patients (6%) at a mean follow up of 20 months. Our preliminary experience indicates that laparoscopic incisional and ventral hernia repair is technically feasible and has acceptable postoperative morbidity and low early recurrence rates.