Laparoscopic totally extraperitoneal (TEP) hernia repair is a technically demanding procedure. Recent studies have identified BMI as an independent factor for technical difficulty in the learning period.
To analyze the effect of overweight and obesity on the technical difficulties of TEP.
Prospective study on patients who underwent a symptomatic inguinal hernia by means of the TEP technique. Were analyzed gender, BMI, previous surgery, hernia type, operative time and complications. Technical difficulty was defined by operative time, major complications and recurrence. Patients were classified into four groups: 1) underweight, if less than 18,5 kg/m²; 2) normal range if BMI between 18,5 and 24,9 kg/m²; 3) overweight if BMI between 25-29,9 kg/m²; and 4) obese if BMI≥30 kg/m².
The cohort had a total of 190 patients, 185 men and 5 women. BMI values ranged from 16-36 kg/m² (average 26 kg/m²). Average operating time was 55.4 min in bilateral hernia (15-150) and 37.8 min in unilateral (13-150). Time of surgery was statistically correlated with increased BMI in the first 93 patients (p=0.049).
High BMI and prolonged operative time are undoubtedly correlated. However, this relationship may be statistically significant only in the learning period. Although several clinical features can influence surgical time, upon reaching an experienced level, surgeons appear to easily handle the challenges.
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