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Pediatr Surg Int. 2014 Jun;30(6):621-4. doi: 10.1007/s00383-014-3507-9. Epub 2014 May 8.

Incarcerated inguinal hernia management in children: 'a comparison of the open and laparoscopic approach'.

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  • 1Norfolk Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust, Colney Lane, Norwich, Norfolk, NR4 7UY, UK,



To compare the outcomes of management of incarcerated inguinal hernia by open versus laparoscopic approach.


This is a retrospective analysis of incarcerated inguinal hernina in a paediatric surgery centre involving four consultants. Manual reduction was attempted in all and failure was managed by emergency surgery.


The laparoscopy group had 27 patients. Four patients failed manual reduction and underwent emergency laparoscopic surgery. Three of them had small bowel strangulation which was reduced laparoscopically. The strangulated bowel was dusky in colour initially but changed to normal colour subsequently under vision. The fourth patient required appendectomy for strangulated appendix. One patient had concomitant repair of umbilical hernia and one patient had laparoscopic pyloromyotomy at the same time. One patient had testicular atrophy, one had hydrocoele and one had recurrence of hernia on the asymptomatic side. The open surgery group had 45 patients. Eleven patients had failed manual reduction requiring emergency surgery, of these two required resection and anastomosis of small intestine. One patient in this group had concomitant repair of undescended testis. There was no recurrence in this group, one had testicular atrophy and seven had metachronous hernia.


Both open herniotomy and laparoscopic repair offer safe surgery with comparable outcomes for incarcerated inguinal hernia in children. Laparoscopic approach and hernioscopy at the time of open approach appear to show the advantage of repairing the contralateral patent processus vaginalis at the same time and avoiding metachronous inguinal hernia.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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