June 24th, 2019 | Updated on March 3rd, 2020
A hernia is an abnormal bulging of the abdominal through the weak part of the abdominal wall. A hernia does not go away by itself and grow with time if left untreated. Surgery is the only treatment for hernia.
There Are Two Types Of Hernia Surgeries:
- Open surgery
- Laparoscopic surgery
1. How Is The Open Surgery For Hernia Performed?
In the open surgery, an incision or cut is made according to the site of the hernia. The tissues are dissected out until the hernia defect is identified. The hernia sac is opened and the content of the sac is pushed back into the abdomen. Mesh is applied over the defect and fixed in place with sutures.
2. How Is Laparoscopic Surgery For Hernia Performed?
The doctors make 3 to 4 incisions and cannulas are placed in them. An instrument called a laparoscope is connected to a special camera and is inserted through a cannula. It allows the surgeon to view the hernia and surrounding area on the screen. Through other incisions, cannulas are inserted that allows the surgeon to work inside the abdomen.
Mesh is applied over and surrounding the defect. A harmless glue is used to seal the incisions which dissolve within a few days after surgery.
Laparoscopy has proved to be a safe, effective, efficient and less painful technique for many types of surgery.
Recent studies have shown that in short term laparoscopic repair is superior to open repair in terms of less blood loss, fewer postoperative complications and short hospital stay.
Advantages Of Laparoscopic Surgery For Hernia
There are many advantages of Laparoscopic surgery for hernia over the conventional open surgery. Few of them are as follows:
- Mild or no pain
- Less postoperative discomfort
- Daycare procedure where patients are discharged within 24-48 hours after surgery.
- Patients are allowed to resume routine activities really soon (5-7 days)
- No scar and no wounds
- The chances of recurrence are zero or very low.
- There may also be a lower risk of developing persistent numbness and pain after surgery and a smaller incidence of wound infection.
- Relief from pain and discomfort caused by the hernia and the avoidance of future strangulation.
These are the disadvantages of laparoscopic hernia surgery:
- All surgeons perform open approach but only some surgeons perform laparoscopic approach. It is important when getting an opinion regarding the surgery to know if the surgeon performs one or both approaches, and how many of each surgeon has performed.
- One of the major setbacks of laparoscopic hernia repair is that it is more expensive to perform than open surgery.
- The reason is the cost of extra equipment used for laparoscopic repair.
- Laparoscopic hernia surgery is not for all. The surgeon will need to assess your suitability for general anesthesia and your medical and surgical history.
- Bowel, bladder and vascular injuries
- If the hernia is too large and at a critical stage
- If the patient had multiple complicated abdominal surgeries
- Heart patients are not advised for laparoscopic hernia surgery
4. Risks After Hernia Open Surgery
- A wound infection may develop which may require treatment with antibiotics.
- Postoperative bleeding may occur requiring further corrective treatment.
- Some rare complications of open surgery include thrombosis(blood clot in the leg) or pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs). This can be life-threatening.
- There is increased risk after surgery if you are overweight or if you smoke.
5. Can Strengthening The Muscles Make Hernia Go Away?
If you think you think exercising can improve hernia then you are absolutely wrong. It is likely to aggravate the condition. The hernia exists because of the localized absence of muscles. Exercise can strengthen the surrounding muscle thereby increasing the pressure inside the abdomen. This results in enlargening of the hernia thereby forcing more tissues through the defect.
6. Should All Hernias Be Repaired?
Yes, a hernia that is at risk of complications, that cause pain or that limit activity should be repaired. If the hernia is left untreated there are chances that an emergency surgical procedure may be required at a later stage.
Sometimes, a hernia can be temporarily controlled by wearing a belt called truss that applies external pressure, which pushes the tissues back into the abdomen and holds them. It should only be used in some situations following careful evaluation by the doctor.
8. Is Hernia A Hereditary Disease?
Hernias are partly genetic. Whereas, the direct cause of hernia is weakening in the muscles that support the abdomen area. Even age, injury and previous surgery can contribute to the weakening of the abdominal wall.
Activities such as lifting heavy weights can aggravate the weakness and result in hernia. Risk factors may also include- smoking, obesity, pregnancy, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and collagen vascular disease, among others. Hernias are not hereditary but weak muscles can be!
Some hernias are inherited, which means they are present since birth at a point of weakness in the abdominal wall.
This should not be confused with hereditary. The hernia may be noticeable when the baby cries and may go away when the baby relaxes.
The doctor pushes the bulge when the child is calm and lying down. It usually gets smaller or goes back into the belly. If the hernia can’t be pushed back, the doctor performs the surgery.
More and more of hernia repair are now being done using a laparoscopic procedure. The laparoscopic hernia repair is a more effective process than an open surgery which relieves the patients of all their pain and discomfort.
With no side-effects, no cuts and wounds, laparoscopic hernia surgery is usually easy to recover from. Get a consultation from a hernia specialist for further queries.
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