Purpose: Laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair is associated with reduced post-operative pain and earlier return to work in men. However, the role of laparoscopic hernia repair in women is not well reported. The aim of this study was to review the outcomes of the laparoscopic versus open repair of inguinal hernias in women and to discuss patients' considerations when choosing the approach. Methods: A retrospective chart review of all consecutive patients undergoing inguinal hernia repair from January 2005 to December 2009 at a single institution was conducted. Presentation characteristics and outcome measures including recurrence rates, post-operative pain and complications were compared in women undergoing laparoscopic versus open hernia repair. Results: A total of 1,133 patients had an inguinal herniorrhaphy. Of these, 101 patients were female (9 %), with a total of 111 hernias. A laparoscopic approach was chosen in 44 % of patients. The majority of women (56 %) presented with groin pain as the primary symptom. Neither the mode of presentation nor the presenting symptoms significantly influenced the surgical approach. There were no statistically significant differences in hernia recurrence, post-operative neuralgia, seroma/hematoma formation or urinary retention between the two approaches (p < 0.05). A greater proportion of patients with bilateral hernias had a laparoscopic approach rather than an open technique (12 vs. 2 %, p = 0.042). Conclusions: Laparoscopic herniorrhaphy is as safe and efficacious as open repair in women, and should be considered when the diagnosis is in question, for management of bilateral hernias or when concomitant abdominal pathology is being addressed.
- Laparoscopic repair
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