BACKGROUND: It is unclear whether an open or laparoscopic approach results in the best outcomes for repair of umbilical and epigastric hernias. The aim of the study was to evaluate the rates of 90-day readmission and reoperation for complication, together with rate of operation for recurrence after either open or laparoscopic mesh repair for primary umbilical or epigastric hernias with defect widths above 1 cm.
METHODS: A merge of data between the Danish Hernia Database and the National Patient Registry provided data from 2007 to 2018 on perioperative information, 90-day readmission, 90-day reoperation for complication, and long-term operation for hernia recurrence.
RESULTS: A total of 6855 patients were included, of whom 4106 (59.9%) and 2749 (40.1%) patients had an open or laparoscopic repair, respectively. There were significantly more patients readmitted with a superficial surgical site infection 2.5% (102/4106) after open repair compared with laparoscopic repair (0.5% (15/2749), P < 0.001. The 90-day reoperation rate for complications was significantly higher for open repairs 5.0% (205/4106) compared with laparoscopic repairs 2.7% (75/2749), P < 0.001. The incidence of a reoperation for a severe condition was significantly increased after laparoscopic repair 1.5% (41/2749) compared with open repair 0.8% (34/4106), P = 0.010. The 4-year cumulative incidence of operation for hernia recurrence was 3.5% after open and 4.2% after laparoscopic repairs, P = 0.302.
CONCLUSIONS: Recurrence rates were comparable between open and laparoscopic repair of umbilical and epigastric hernias. Open repair was associated with a significantly higher rate of readmission and reoperation due to surgical site infection, whereas the rate of reoperation due to a severe complication was significantly higher after laparoscopic repair.