Laparoscopic or open paediatric inguinal hernia repair – a systematic review

Badar Mahmood*, Mette Christoffersen, Marc Miserez, Thue Bisgaard

*Corresponding author for this work
9 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Inguinal hernia repair is the most common surgical procedure in paediatric patients. Despite limited evidence, an increasing number of surgeons suggest laparoscopic repair as an alternative to the gold standard of open repair. This review critically analysed post-operative clinical outcome on open versus laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair in paediatric patients. Before initiating the study, recurrence was defined as the primary outcome, and secondary outcomes were early post-operative pain, operation time and surgical site infections. Methods: The PRISMA guidelines were followed. Using strict inclusion and exclusion criteria, the following databases were searched: MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, Web of Science and Embase (May 2019). Retrospective and uncontrolled studies were excluded. Results: Five studies were identified, four randomised controlled trials (n = 272) and one controlled prospective study (n = 85) which included a total of 357 patients. Generally, the studies included few patients, were highly heterogenic and were overall of moderate quality. With a follow-up time ranging from three months to 14 years, there was no difference in recurrence rate after unilateral open (0-2%) versus unilateral laparoscopic (0-4%) or bilateral open versus bilateral laparoscopic repair (n = 281; p > 0.05 in all studies). There were no other significant differences in any of the outcomes, including post-operative pain (p > 0.05). Conclusions: There is no solid evidence that clinical outcome is improved after laparoscopic paediatric inguinal hernia repair compared with the gold standard.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA12190725
JournalDanish Medical Journal
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


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