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Surg Endosc. 2001 Oct;15(10):1102-7.

Outcomes of laparoscopic herniorrhaphy without fixation of mesh to the abdominal wall.

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Department of Minimally Invasive Surgery and Surgical Research, Legacy Health Systems, 501 N. Graham, Suite 120, Portland, OR 97227, USA.



Recently there has been interest in performing laparoscopic herniorrhaphies without the use of staples or tacks to fix the mesh. Although mesh fixation has been linked to an increased incidence of nerve injury and involves increased operative costs, many surgeons feel that fixation is necessary to reduce the risk of hernia recurrence. This study evaluates the outcomes of laparoscopic herniorrhapies performed with and without mesh fixation at our institution.


We retrospectively evaluated our last 172 laparoscopic herniorrhaphies, which span a period of conversion from staple fixation to nonfixation of total extraperitoneal herniorrhaphies using systematic chart review and follow-up self-administered questionnaires. The outcomes assessed were the incidences of postoperative neuralgia and hernia recurrence. Adjustment for important prognostic factors was achieved using Cox regression for estimating the risk of recurrence, and multiple logistic regression for estimating the risk of neuropathic complications.


Of 172 laparoscopic herniorrhaphies performed in 129 patients since July 1993, 105 were accomplished without mesh fixation, and 67 were performed with fixation of mesh to the abdominal wall. There were no significant differences in demographics between the two groups. A trend toward a higher incidence of neuropathic complications was observed in the mesh-fixation group (risk ratio [RR], 2.2; 95% CI, 0.5-10). A nonsignificant increased risk of hernia recurrence with fixation of mesh was observed (4.2 vs 1.6 per 100 hernia-years at risk; RR, 2.3; 95% CI, 0.4-13.10), but this finding may be associated with a selection bias with regard to giant hernia defects.


Our data suggest that mesh fixation to the abdominal wall may be avoided in total extraperitoneal repairs without increasing the risk of hernia recurrence and neuropathic complications. The increased risk of recurrence observed with mesh fixation possibly results from selection bias. Large randomized controlled studies are needed to determine whether mesh fixation is truly related to neuropathic complications and the incidence of recurrence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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