Are there any real benefits of laparoscopic over open inguinal hernia repair with mesh?

"Double" Hernias, etc. Controversy exists amongst hernia surgeons which approach is best. In my experience, people return to normal activities faster via laparoscopy. This is most pronounced with bilateral ("double") hernias. Also, people with recurrent hernias originally repaired open benefit greatly from the laparoscopic approach.
Time...healing. Laparoscopic repair usually results in much faster healing and recovery time. Also, the incisions are smaller, lessening the possibility of developing hernias from the surgical incision.
Shorter recovery. Both surgical techniques are valid, save and effective. On average laprascopic repairs have shorter recovery and open repairs are more durable. Your surgeons experience and your return to work needs will influence decision.