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Pediatr Surg Int. 2010 Apr;26(4):387-92. doi: 10.1007/s00383-010-2549-x. Epub 2010 Feb 9.

A comparative study examining open inguinal herniotomy with and without hernioscopy to laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair in a pediatric population.

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Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, UK.



Open herniotomy with or without hernioscopy has been performed in our unit for a decade. Since 2005 the laparoscopic repair was also introduced. The aims of this study were: (1) to compare detection rates for direct visualization of the contralateral deep inguinal ring via the known sac using a 70 degrees scope and via umbilical 30 degrees laparoscopy and (2) to compare operative timings, metachronous and recurrence rates for the three different management pathways for inguinal hernia.


A retrospective case note review was carried out over a 29 month period since the introduction of the laparoscopic hernia repair. All patients with inguinal hernia were identified from the work load of six surgeons encompassing the three methods of hernia management. Case notes were retrieved and the data analyzed using SPSS v.17.


A total of 308 patients had 326 hernias performed. Follow-up ranged from 3 months to 1 year (median 8 months). The male-female ratio was 4:1. Of the patients, 12% were neonates; 299 children presented with unilateral hernia. Of those, 164 (55%) children had open herniotomy without contralateral inspection, and 5 (3%) had metachronous hernia; 77 (26%) children had an open herniotomy with 70 degrees hernioscopy; 2 (3%) children, who were considered to have closed contralateral deep inguinal ring during hernioscopy, had metachronous hernia, and 58 (19%) children had a laparoscopic hernia repair and none of them had metachronous hernia. Detection of contralateral patent deep inguinal ring for 70 degrees hernioscopy and 30 degrees laparoscopy was 10 (13%) and 16 (28%), respectively (P = 0.0465). Operative timing was significantly longer for laparoscopic repair (P < or = 0.0001). During the study period there were 11 recurrences; 9 (5%) in the open only group and 2 (3%) in the laparoscopic group.


The results of the laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair are important for discussion as operative methods differ from that of herniotomy. The detection rate of contralateral patent deep inguinal ring appears to be higher for direct visualization via umbilical 30 degrees laparoscopy versus 70 degrees scope via the hernia sac. Whilst laparoscopy offers potential advantage of improved visualization, longer term prospective data collection is needed to compare these methods of operative hernia management.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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