Endoscopically guided percutaneous repair of inguinal hernia through a 2-cm incision. Minihernia repair.

Darzi A, Nduka CC. Surg Endosc. 1997 Jul;11(7):782-4.



The laparoscopic repair of inguinal hernia is still controversial. Transabdominal preperitoneal repair violates the peritoneal cavity and may result in visceral injuries or intestinal obstruction. The laparoscopic extraperitoneal approach has the disadvantage of being technically demanding and requires extensive extraperitoneal mobilization. The Lichtenstein repair gives good long-term results, is easy to learn, can be performed under local anesthesia, but requires a larger incision.


We describe a novel percutaneous tension-free prosthetic mesh repair performed through a 2-cm groin incision. The inguinal canal is traversed with the aid of a 5-mm video- endoscope and the canal is widened using specially designed balloons. Spermatic cord mobilization, identification and excision of the indirect sac, and posterior wall repair are carried out under endoscopic guidance.


Between October 1993 and July 1995, 85 primary inguinal hernia repairs (48 indirect and 33 direct) were performed on 81 patients (80 men, one woman) by the author (A.D.). The mean age was 41 years (range 17-83 years). Six repairs were performed under local anesthetic. Mean operative time was 42 min (range 25-74). Mean hospital stay was 1.2 days (0-3 days). The mean return to normal activity was 8 days (2-10 days). Eight complications have occurred: a serous wound discharge, two scrotal hematomas, a scrotal swelling that resolved spontaneously, wound pain lasting 2 weeks, an episode of urinary retention, and two recurrences early in the series (follow-up 1-22 months).


The endoscopically guided percutaneous hernia repair avoids the disadvantages of laparoscopy (i.e., lack of stereoscopic vision, reduced tactile feedback, unfamiliar anatomical approach, risk of visceral injury), yet the use of endoscopic instrumentation allows operation through a 2-cm incision. The minihernia repair thus combines the virtues of an open tension-free repair with minimal access trauma.