Objective: To estimate the risk factors for and incidence of post-lapaioscopy incisional hernia.
Methods: A questionnaire was sent to all individuals on a mailing list from the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists. Adequately completed responses were entered into a computer-based data bank for analysis. Of the 11,500 surveys mailed, 3293 were returned; of these, 3217 were evaluable.
Results: A total of 933 hernias was reported from an estimated 4,385,000 laparoscopic procedures (an incidence of 21 per 100,000); 167 (17.9%) were reported to have occurred despite fascial closure. Six hundred sixty-five patients (71.3%) had subsequent surgical repair. Seven hundred twenty-five (86.3%) of the 840 hernias in which the size of the original fascial defect was noted, occurred in sites where ports 10 mm in diameter or larger had been placed. The occurrence of hernias is a function of the number of laparoscopies performed (P<.0001) and is not related to the length of the surgeon's career (P=.41). In at least 157 instances (16.8%), the presenting symptom or morbidity of the hernia was directly related to the involvement of the large or small intestine.
Conclusion: Fost-laparoscopy incisional hernias occur at an approximate incidence of 21 per 100,000 and are associated with significant morbidity. These hernias are most likely to occur when large ports are used. As currently practiced, closure is not completely protective. Further methods or devices should be developed to minimize the risk of hernia formation.
© 1994 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists