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Single-site laparoscopic percutaneous extraperitoneal closure of the internal ring using an epidural and spinal needle: excellent results in 1464 children with inguinal hernia/hydrocele



Laparoscopic percutaneous extraperitoneal closure (LPEC) of the internal ring is a well-developed procedure for pediatric inguinal hernia and hydrocele. To reduce the skin incisions and improve the cosmesis, single-site LPEC (SLPEC) has been developed with numerous techniques and instruments. In this study, we described our modifications of SLPEC using an epidural and spinal needle in a large pediatric population.


From February 2013 to February 2016, 1464 pediatric patients who underwent SLPEC in our hospital were retrospectively reviewed. A 5-mm laparoscope was introduced at the subumbilicus. An 18-gauge epidural needle with a silk suture loop was introduced into the corresponding skin of the internal ring. The needle was advanced extraperitoneally on the medial side of the ring. The suture loop was pushed into peritoneal cavity by the spinal needle. The epidural needle was withdrawn to the roof of the internal ring and then kept advancing along the lateral side. Aided by the spinal needle and laparoscope, a long suture loop was sent into the first loop in peritoneal cavity. The long suture loop was pulled out of the abdominal wall by picking up the first loop, and the internal ring was closed by knotting the suture extracorporeally. The contralateral patent processus vaginalis (CPPV) was simultaneously repaired if present.


In total, 981 patients presented with inguinal hernia and 483 with hydrocele. A CPPV was present in 483 patients with unilateral pathology and thus simultaneously repaired. The hydrodissection technique and grasping forceps were used in 290 and 113 patients, respectively. The median operation time was 11 min (7–18 min) and 18 min (10–30 min) for unilateral and bilateral inguinal hernias/hydroceles, respectively. There was no development of intra- or postoperative complications.


SLPEC using an epidural and spinal needle can be performed with excellent results in pediatric inguinal hernias and hydroceles.

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The authors would like to acknowledge Chengzhong Yu and Huiming Jin for their modification of the epidural and spinal needle before the study began. This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Ningbo Municipal Science and Technology Bureau—2016A610177.

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Correspondence to Furan Wang.

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Furan Wang, Hongji Zhong, Yi Chen, Junfeng Zhao, Yan Li, Junxian Chen, and Sheng Dong have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Wang, F., Zhong, H., Chen, Y. et al. Single-site laparoscopic percutaneous extraperitoneal closure of the internal ring using an epidural and spinal needle: excellent results in 1464 children with inguinal hernia/hydrocele. Surg Endosc 31, 2932–2938 (2017).

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  • Single-site surgery laparoscopy
  • Inguinal hernia
  • Hydrocele
  • Children
  • Epidural and spinal needle