Laparoscopic versus open preperitoneal inguinal hernia repair: a prospective randomised trial.
Aitola P. Airo I. Matikainen M.
Department of Surgery, Tampere University Hospital and Medical School, Finland.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Before choosing between open and laparoscopic preperitoneal tension-free repair, a study comparing their safety and short-term outcome was needed. No randomised studies comparing the two hernia repair techniques have hitherto been published. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A prospective randomised study was carried out comparing laparoscopic transabdominal preperitoneal mesh herniorrhaphy (n = 24) to open preperitoneal mesh herniorrhaphy (n = 25). RESULTS: When comparing unilateral repairs, the mean operation time was significantly (P < 0.01) shorter in the open group (55 min) than in the laparoscopic group (66 min). Pain on movement (P < 0.05) and pain on coughing (P < 0.01) receded more rapidly in the laparoscopic group. The median time before return to work or normal activity was 7 days (range 1-60) in laparoscopic and 5 days (1-30) in open repair. There were five (21%) complications associated with the laparoscopic procedure, while the open procedure resulted in two (8%) complications. After a median follow-up of 18 months the recurrence rate in the laparoscopic group was 13% and in the open group 8%. CONCLUSIONS: In this study the open method was associated with fewer complications and recurrences than the laparoscopic technique. Despite the decreased postoperative discomfort after laparoscopic repair, there was no significant difference in median time before return to work or normal activity. These results together with the higher cost of the laparoscopic procedure suggest that the open method is more suitable at least for unilateral hernias.