The 'other side' of pediatric hernias: The role of laparoscopy

Frederick J. Rescorla, Karen W. West, Scott A. Engum, L. R. Scherer, Jay L. Grosfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations


The role of contralateral inguinal exploration in neonates, infants, and children presenting with unilateral hernias is controversial. Factors considered by surgeons include the patient's age, sex, and side of the clinically apparent hernia. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of diagnostic laparoscopy performed through the clinically apparent hernia sac to identify a contralateral patent processus vaginalis (CPPV) in children and limit contralateral exploration to CPPV-positive patients. One hundred neonates, infants, and children underwent laparoscopic evaluation for a CPPV through the ipsilateral hernia sac. There were 79 boys and 21 girls. Forty-eight of 100 (48%) had a CPPV identified, which was confirmed operatively. Thirty-one of 68 patients (46%) with a right-sided and 18 of 32 (56%) with a left-sided hernias had a CPPV (P = 0.39). Thirty-six of 56 (64%) patients younger than 6 months of age had a CPPV compared to 13 of 44 (30%) older than six months (P = 0.001). Fourteen of 21 (67%) girls had a CPPV compared to 35 of 79 (44%) boys (P = 0.087). Laparoscopy through the hernia sac is a safe and effective means of identifying the presence of a CPPV and avoiding unnecessary contralateral inguinal exploration. Infants (<6 months) are much more likely to have a CPPV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)690-693
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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    Rescorla, F. J., West, K. W., Engum, S. A., Scherer, L. R., & Grosfeld, J. L. (1997). The 'other side' of pediatric hernias: The role of laparoscopy. American Surgeon, 63(8), 690-693.