Minimally invasive inguinal hernia repair is superior to open: a national database review

B. Pokala, P. R. Armijo, L. Flores, D. Hennings, D. Oleynikov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Purpose: Many publications have focused on single-surgeon or single-center data, comparing surgical approach in inguinal hernia repair. This study evaluated outcomes in patients who underwent open (OIHR), laparoscopic (LIHR) or robotic (RIHR) inguinal hernia repair using a national database. Methods: The Vizient clinical database was queried using ICD-9 and ICD-10 procedure and diagnosis codes for RIHR, LIHR, and OIHR from 2013 to 2017. Elective procedures classified as minor or moderate risk severity were included. Complications, 30-day readmission, mortality, LOS, and intra-hospital opiate utilization were analyzed using IBM SPSS v.23.0. Results: 3547 patients (OIHR: N = 2413, LIHR: N = 540, RIHR: N = 594) were included in the study. Majority were male (OIHR 84.1%, LIHR 80.4%, RIHR 95.3%), ≥ 51 years (OIHR 81.5%, LIHR 81.7%, RIHR 95.3%), and Caucasian (OIHR 75.7%, LIHR 77.0%, RIHR 81.5%). RIHR had the least overall complications (0.67%) compared to LIHR (4.44%) and OIHR (3.85%), p < 0.05. OIHR had the highest postoperative infection rate (8.33%), versus LIHR (0.56%) and RIHR (0.0%), p < 0.05. OIHR had longer length of stay (3.57 ± 4.1 days) when compared to both groups (LIHR 2.2 ± 2.13 days, RIHR 1.75 ± 1.62 days), p < 0.001. OIHR had higher 30-day readmission rates (3.61%) compared to RIHR (0.84%), p = 0.001. Mortality was similar between groups (OIHR 0.21%, LIHR 0.19%, RIHR 0.17%), p = 0.081. Opiate use was higher with OIHR (96.0%), compared to both LIHR (93.1%), and RIHR (93.8%), p = 0.004. Conclusion: RIHR outcomes were improved compared to OIHR or LIHR. OIHR had the highest rate of opiate use, there was no difference between LIHR and RIHR. Further studies are needed to determine the role of RIHR and to assess whether surgeon or patient selection contributes to outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-599
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • Cost
  • Inguinal hernia
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Open surgery
  • Opiate use
  • Outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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