Suction test to demonstrate the peritoneal edge during laparoscopic extraperitoneal inguinal hernia repair

Christopher Nahm*, Jason Free, Sivakumar Gananadha, Thomas J. Hugh, Jaswinder S. Samra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction Inadequate peritoneal dissection from retroperitoneal structures may account for a large number of hernia recurrences amongst surgeons and trainees who are new to totally extraperitoneal (TEP) laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair. In this paper, we describe a simple dynamic test that allows surgeons to better appreciate the peritoneal edge during the initial dissection phase of TEP inguinal hernia repair, allowing for more adequate dissection of the peritoneum from retroperitoneal structures before placement of mesh. Methods Data from a single surgeon was collected on 113 consecutive patients who underwent laparoscopic TEP inguinal hernia repair at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney. The data was retrospectively reviewed to determine the number of cases in which the suction test led to further peritoneal dissection prior to mesh placement. Operative Technique After balloon dissection of the pre-peritoneal space and initial dissection of peritoneum and sac from retroperitoneal structures, a laparoscopic suction device is used to aspirate the insufflated gas from the pre-peritoneal space to cause the peritoneum to bulge anteriorly, thus demonstrating the edge of the peritoneal reflection. Further dissection is performed if deemed necessary at this point, and the mesh is placed over the hernia defect. Results 136 TEP hernia repairs were performed in 113 patients. In 26 (23 %) of patients, the abovementioned technique was of particular value resulting in further dissection of peritoneum prior to mesh placement. There were no complications as a direct result of the test. Conclusion This dynamic suction test is a risk-free and useful operative tool for surgeons and trainees who are new to TEP inguinal hernia repair, and provides a definitive way of identifying the peritoneal reflection to ensure the peritoneum has been dissected adequately prior to mesh placement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4360-4363
Number of pages4
JournalSurgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • hernia
  • laparoscopic
  • peritoneum
  • suction
  • total extraperitoneal

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