PURPOSE: We wanted to measure and compare the patient demographics and perioperative outcomes between patients with incarcerated and patients with non-incarcerated inguinal hernia. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective analysis of 945 patients who were scheduled for laparoscopic total extraperitoreal (TEP) repair of inguinal hernia from May 2002 to May 2010. There were 66 patients who had incarcerated hernia and 879 patients who had non-incarcerated hernia. RESULTS: The mean age was younger in the incarcerated hernia group than in the non-incarcerated hernia group (41.67 vs. 48.50 years, P < 0.01), and all the incarcerated inguinal hernias patients were male. Most of the incarcerated hernias (63 out of 66 cases, 95%) were indirect hernias. The mean hospital stay showed no difference between the two groups (1.03 vs. 0.93 days, P = 0.142) but the operation time was longer for the incarcerated group than that for the non-incarcerated group (33.36 vs. 24.59 minutes, P < 0.01). Postoperative swelling (including seroma) was more frequent in the incarcerated group (14 out of 66 cases, 21%, P < 0.01), but postoperative pain was similar in both groups (3.0 vs. 8.9%, P = 0.095). There was one recurrence in the non-incarcerated group, but this had no statistical significance. CONCLUSION: Laparoscopic TEP repair for the patients with chronic incarcerated inguinal hernias was safe and feasible. However, a well-designed study is needed to confirm if it is suitable for acute incarcerated inguinal hernias.