Laparoscopic Endoscopic Surgical Science, vol.25, no.4, pp.140-145, 2018 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)
INTRODUCTION: The present study is a description of the learning curve experienced and the process implemented to incorporate the increasingly common laparoendoscopic technique of totally extraperitoneal (TEP) inguinal hernia repair at our clinic.
METHODS: Patients with a primary unilateral inguinal hernia who underwent laparoscopic TEP repair between May 2013 and May 2018 were included in the study. The patients were separated into 7 groups. The learning curve parameters (duration of operation, rate of conversion to open surgery, intraoperative and postoperative complications) were recorded and statistically compared.
RESULTS: Of the 380 patients, 349 were male and 31 were female, and the mean age was 52±14.2 years. The mean duration of the operation was 46±25.9 minutes. There was a statistically significant difference between the groups in terms of surgical time. The duration of the operation plateaued at <1 hour after 60 surgeries. There was no statistically significant difference between the last 2 groups in terms of the duration of the operation. A total of 7 patients were converted to open surgery. There was no difference between groups in terms of the duration of hospitalization. The average follow-up period was 18 months (range: 3–63 months). Seroma and hematoma occurred in 3 patients and hernia recurrence was observed in 4 patients.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: It was concluded that a surgeon who has already performed a certain number of inguinal hernia operations can complete the learning curve for TEP repair after 60 operations when the appropriate technical conditions are provided, and that subsequent surgeries can be performed in an optimal time with low complication and recurrence rates.
Keywords: Duration of surgery, laparoendoscopic repair; learning curve; totally extraperitoneal.