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J Minim Access Surg. 2012 Oct;8(4):111-7. doi: 10.4103/0972-9941.103107.

Analysing the benefits of laparoscopic hernia repair compared to open repair: A meta-analysis of observational studies.

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1
Department of General Surgery, Charing Cross Hospital, Imperial College NHS Trust, London, Fulham Palace Road, London, W6 8RF, United Kingdom.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The purpose of this study is to compare the difference of incidence of post-operative complications, operative time, length of stay and recurrence of patients undergoing laparoscopic or open repair of their ventral/incisional hernia a meta-analytic technique for observational studies.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A literature search was performed using Medline, PubMed, Embase and Cochrane databases for studies reported between 1998 and 2009 comparing laparoscopic and open surgery for the treatment of ventral (incisional) hernia. This meta-analysis of all the observational studies compared the post-operative complications recurrence rate and length of stay. The random effects model was used. Sensitivity and heterogeneity were analysed.

RESULTS:

Analysis of 15 observational studies comprising 2452 patients qualified for meta-analysis according to the study's inclusion criteria. Laparoscopic surgery was attempted in 1067 out of 2452. The results showed that the length of stay (odds ratio [OR], - 1.00; 95% confidence interval [CI], - 1.09 to - 0.91; P < 0.00001) and operative time (OR, 59.33; 95% CI, 58.55 to 60.11; P < 0.00001) was significantly lower in the laparoscopic group. The results also showed that there was a significant reduction in the formation of abscesses (OR, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.16 to 0.92; P = 0.03) and wound infections (OR, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.29 to 0.82; P = 0.007) post-operatively. There is a trend which indicates that the recurrence of the hernia using laparoscopic repair versus open repair was overall lower with the laparoscopic repair (OR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.22 to 1.04; P = 0.06), however, this was not significant.

CONCLUSION:

Laparoscopic incisional hernia repair was associated with a reduced length of stay, operative time and lower incidence of abscess and wound infection post-operatively. This study also highlights the benefit of using observational studies as a form of research and its value as a tool in answering questions where large sample sizes of patient groups would be impossible to accumulate in a reasonable length of time.

KEYWORDS:

Incisional hernia; laparoscopic surgery; meta-analysis; observational; ventral hernia

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