Laparoscopic versus robotic TAPP/TEP inguinal hernia repair: a multicenter, propensity score weighted study

T. C. Chao, H. Y. Tung, C. H. Tsai, C. M. Pen, C. C. Wu, C. H. Liao, Y. C. Ou, C. C. Tsai, S. D. Yang, Y. C. Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The objective of this retrospective study was to assess safety and comparative clinical effectiveness of laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair (LIHR) and robot-assisted inguinal hernia repair (RIHR) from multi-institutional experience in Taiwan. Methods: Medical records from a total of eight hospitals were retrospectively collected and analyzed. Patients primarily diagnosed of inguinal hernia, recurrent inguinal hernia or incarceration groin hernia patients who either underwent laparoscopic or robot-assisted inguinal hernia repair between January 2018 and December 2022 were included in the study. Baseline characteristics, intra-operative and post-operative results were analyzed. To compare two cohorts, overlap weighting was employed to balance the significant inter-group differences. We also conducted subgroup analyses by state of a hernia (primary or recurrent/incarceration) and laterality (unilateral or bilateral) that indicated complexity of surgery. Results: A total of 1,080 patients who underwent minimally invasive inguinal hernia repair from 8 hospitals across Taiwan were collected. Following the application of inclusion criteria, there were 279 patients received RIHR and 763 patients received LIHR. In the baseline analysis, RIHR was more often performed in recurrent/incarceration (RIHR 18.6% vs LIHR 10.3%, p = 0.001) and bilateral cases (RIHR 81.4 vs LIHR 58.3, p < 0.001). Suturing was dominant mesh fixation method in RIHR (RIHR 81% vs LIHR 35.8%, p < 0.001). More overweight patients were treated with RIHR (RIHR 58.8% vs LIHR 48.9%, p = 0.006). After overlap weighting, there were no significant difference in intraoperative and post-operative complications between RIHR and LIHR. Reoperation and prescription rates of pain medication (opioid) were significantly lower in RIHR than LIHR in overall group comparison (reoperation: RIHR 0% vs. LIHR 2.9%, p = 0.016) (Opioid prescription: RIHR 3.34 mg vs LIHR 10.82 mg, p = 0.001) while operation time was significantly longer in RIHR (OR time: RIHR 155.27 min vs LIHR 95.30 min, p < 0.001). Conclusions: This real-world experience suggested that RIHR is a safe, and feasible option with comparable intra-operative and post-operative outcomes to LHIR. In our study, RIHR showed technical advantages in more complicated hernia cases with yielding to lower reoperation rates, and less opioid use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-209
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • Groin hernia
  • Robot-assisted surgery
  • TAPP
  • TEP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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