Purpose: Although laparoscopic total extraperitoneal repair (TEP) has been reported to have a low recurrence rate and relatively little postoperative pain, there have been few studies reported regarding contralateral occurrence after TEP. Although a high incidence of occult contralateral hernias has been reported in the literature, it is unknown whether occult hernias have any significance in clinical settings. The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence of contralateral occurrence after TEP for unilateral inguinal hernia. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical charts of 157 TEPs between April 2003 and May 2009. No patients had undergone contralateral exploration during TEP for unilateral inguinal hernias. Results: Five (3.2%) of 157 unilateral TEPs developed a hernia on the contralateral side. In three patients, the initial hernia was on the right side, and in two it was on the left side. In four patients the initial hernia was indirect, and in one it was direct. The mean duration to contralateral occurrence was 12.2 months. Three patients had contralateral occurrence within 6 months after the primary TEP, while in two over a year passed before contralateral occurrence. All five patients had undergone TEP for contralateral occurrence. The mean operation time was 87.2 min, and there was little intraoperative blood loss. There were no complications during and after the second TEP. Conclusions: The incidence of contralateral occurrence after TEP was found to be low. TEP is a valuable procedure with a low contralateral occurrence rate, and repeated TEP for contralateral occurrence can be performed easily.
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