Background: A totally extraperitoneal (TEP) approach is currently the technique of choice for the laparoscopic repair of bilateral inguinal hernias in our institution. Most other surgeons use two meshes for the TEP repair, one for each side. We prefer a large single mesh when possible since it allows for easier correct placement of the mesh in one stage. We compared our long-term results of both techniques in terms of late complications and recurrence rates. Methods: This study retrospectively evaluated the medical records of 108 patients who underwent bilateral laparoscopic TEP repair in our institution between January 2002 and December 2003. Excluded were patients who had a conversion to a transabdominal preperitoneal or open approach. A total of 73 (67 %) patients fulfilled study entrance criteria and were enrolled: 39 had undergone single mesh repair and 34 had undergone double mesh repair. Results: There were no significant group differences in demographics, operating time, postoperative morbidity, or hospital stay. Likewise, after a median follow-up of 102 months (range 94-115 months), there were no significant group differences between the single and double mesh groups in persistent pain (5.8 vs 2.5 %, respectively; p = 0.476) and recurrence (7.6 vs 8.8 %, respectively; p = 0.55). Conclusion: The use of a large single mesh is an effective and safe alternative technique for TEP repair of bilateral inguinal hernias, and is technically easy to perform.