DOCTOR'S VIEW ARCHIVE

Hernia Repair…Laparoscopy Success

Doctor's View Archive

UTRECHT, NETHERLANDS 1997 - As medical technology progresses, changes in the techniques used to perform medical procedures are inevitable.

The laparoscope is a tube-like viewing instrument used to inspect, biopsy, and repair tissues inside of the abdomen. Procedures utilizing a laparoscope require only small incisions (less than an inch) for the instrument to be inserted into the cavity of the abdomen. This technique reduces healing and recovery time while minimizing scars on the skin.

Dr. Mike S. L. Liem and others at the University Hospital Utrecht in the Netherlands reported their treatment of 487 patients for hernia of the groin using the laparoscope and compared results with 507 patients using traditional open surgical repair. (New England Journal of Medicine 1997;336:1541- 7)

Dr. Liem's study found that the patients who had undergone repair with the laparoscope recovered more rapidly than those who had open surgical repair. The average time to resume normal daily activity was 6 days using the scope versus10 days with open surgery. The average time to return to work was 14 days compared to 21 days. The average time to resume athletic activity was 24 days versus 36 days.

Dr. Liem's study also found that the patients who had undergone repair with the laparoscope had fewer recurrences (3 percent) than those who had open surgical repair (6 percent).