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Ann Surg. 2011 Oct;254(4):641-52. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e31823009e6.

Laparoscopic versus open anterior abdominal wall hernia repair: 30-day morbidity and mortality using the ACS-NSQIP database.

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Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.



To compare short-term outcomes after laparoscopic and open abdominal wall hernia repair.


Using the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP) database (2005-2009), 71,054 patients who underwent an abdominal wall hernia repair were identified (17% laparoscopic, 83% open). Laparoscopic and open techniques were compared. Regression models and nonparametric 1:1 matching algorithms were used to minimize the influence of treatment selection bias. The association between surgical approach and risk-adjusted adverse event rates after abdominal wall hernia repair was determined. Subgroup analysis was performed between inpatient/outpatient surgery, strangulated/reducible, and initial/recurrent hernias as well as between umbilical, incisional and other ventral hernias.


Patients undergoing laparoscopic repair were less likely to experience an overall morbidity (6.0% vs. 3.8%; odds ratio [OR], 0.62; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.56-0.68) or a serious morbidity (2.5% vs. 1.6%; OR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.52-0.71) compared to open repair. Analysis using multivariate adjustment and patient matching showed similar findings. Mortality rates were the same. Laparoscopically repaired strangulated and recurrent hernias, had a significantly lower overall morbidity (4.7% vs. 8.1%, P < 0.0001 and 4.1% vs. 12.2%, P < 0.0001, respectively). Significantly lower overall morbidity was also noted for the laparoscopic approach when the hernias were categorized into umbilical (1.9% vs. 3.0%, P = 0.009), ventral (3.9% vs. 6.3%, P < 0.0001), and incisional (4.3% vs. 9.1%, P < 0.0001). No differences were noted between laparoscopic and open repairs in patients undergoing outpatient surgery, when the hernias were reducible.


Laparoscopic hernia repair is infrequently used and associated with lower 30-day morbidity, particularly when hernias are complicated.

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