Initial experience using a handheld fully articulating software-driven laparoscopic needle driver in TAPP inguinal hernia repair

Victoria Needham, Diego Camacho, Flavio Malcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: The laparoscopic transabdominal preperitoneal (TAPP) inguinal hernia repair is a widely performed minimally invasive operation, but can present considerable ergonomic challenges for the surgeon. Our objective was to determine if a novel handheld software-driven laparoscopic articulating needle driver can mitigate these difficulties. Methods: The video recordings of a consecutive series of TAPP cases by a single surgeon using the articulating device were compared with a series of cases using straight-stick laparoscopy. Two critical steps of the procedure were analyzed for time: mesh fixation and peritoneal suture closure. These steps were then compared before and after 10 initial consecutive cases to analyze whether the surgeon demonstrated improvement. A cost analysis was also performed between the two techniques. Results: For mesh fixation, the surgeon averaged 227 s using tacker devices, compared with 462.4 s using the novel laparoscopic device (p = 0.06). For the peritoneal closure component of the operation, the surgeon improved the time per suture pass during closure from 60.61 s during the first 10 cases to 38.84 s after the first 10 cases (p = 0.0004), which was comparable to the time per stitch for standard laparoscopy (34.8 s vs 34.84 s, p = 0.997). Left-sided inguinal hernia repairs using the articulating device demonstrated a significantly longer time per stitch during peritoneal closure compared to the right side after first 10 cases (left: 40.62 s; right: 27.91, p = 0.005). Our direct cost analysis demonstrated that suture closure of the peritoneum using the articulating device was more cost-effective than tack fixation. Conclusions: After only a 10 case initial experience, a laparoscopic hand-held articulating needle driver is comparable to standard laparoscopy to complete suture mesh fixation and peritoneal closure for TAPP inguinal hernia repair. Further, the feasibility of suture mesh fixation minimizes the need for costly tacker devices. This instrument appears to be a promising tool in this largely minimally invasive era of hernia repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3221-3231
Number of pages11
JournalSurgical endoscopy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Articulating needle driver
  • Inguinal hernia repair
  • Laparoscopic suturing
  • Laparoscopy
  • TAPP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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