What is Hernia Surgery?
A hernia is a gap in the tissue that holds muscles in place. A hernia is usually the result of weak internal abdominal layers, resulting in a tear. The inner abdominal lines push the damaged abdominal wall forming a balloon or a sac.
The hernia can cause severe discomfort, pain, or some other serious problem that may require emergency treatment.
Both the genders, i.e., male and female, can get a hernia in their lifetime or congenital.
A hernia doesn’t get better itself or over time. No exercise can make it go away. It requires surgery!
Types of Hernia
Inguinal hernia: in which the intestine or the bladder protrudes through the abdominal wall. More than 90% of hernias are inguinal and mostly seen in men because of a natural weakness in this area.
An incisional hernia: in which the intestine pushes through the abdominal wall at the area of previous abdominal surgery. This is common in elderly or overweight people or who are inactive after abdominal surgery.
A femoral hernia: occurs when the intestine gets into the canal, carrying the femoral artery into the upper thigh. Femoral hernias are common in women, especially those who are pregnant or obese.
An umbilical hernia: occurs in the part of the small intestine that passes through the abdominal wall near the navel. It commonly occurs in newborns, obese women, or those who have had many children.
A hiatal hernia: happens as the upper part of the stomach squeezes by an opening in the diaphragm (hiatus) through which the esophagus normally passes.
There are three main types of hernia surgeries:
- Open repair.
- Laparoscopic (minimally invasive) repair.
- Robotic hernia repair surgery.
Open hernia repair surgery
During an open hernia repair procedure, the surgeon will make an incision in the groin. The hernia sac is then identified. The surgeon strengthens the abdominal wall using stitches by pushes the hernia back into the abdomen. Mostly, patients go home a few hours after surgery and feel completely fine within a few days. You have to avoid strenuous activities and exercise for four to six weeks after the surgery.
Laparoscopic (minimally invasive) hernia repair surgery
As the name indicates, laparoscopic (minimally invasive) hernia repair uses a laparoscope. It is a thin, telescope-like instrument inserted through a small incision at the belly button. This procedure requires general anesthesia so, before the surgery, you will have to monitor and evaluate your general state of health—no pain during the entire surgery. The laparoscope is linked to a tiny video camera that shows an “inside view” of the body onto monitor screens in the operating room.
The abdomen is inflated with carbon dioxide that creates space so that the doctor can view your internal structures. The peritoneum is cut to make the weakness in the abdominal wall visible. To cover the defects in the abdominal wall and to strengthen the tissue, a mesh is placed. The small abdominal incisions are closed with the stitch or surgical tape. The incisions will be completely invisible after a few months.
The plus point of this procedure is that it includes three small incisions despite a large incision. It is a procedure that offers less pain and quick recovery in a short period.
Robotic hernia repair surgery
Robotic hernia repair surgery also uses a laparoscope and is performed in the same manner as that of the previous one.
The difference is that in Robotic surgery, the surgeon is seated at a console in the operating room, and from there, he will be handling the surgical instruments.
While robotic surgery is beneficial for some smaller hernias or weak areas, this is also used to reconstruct the abdominal wall.
Robotic surgery provides excellent three-dimensional images of the abdomen, while laparoscopic surgery gives two-dimensional images. Robotic surgery enables the surgeon to use stitches to sew the tissues and keep meshes inside the abdomen.
A patient with a robotic hernia has tiny scars rather than one large incision scar, and the pain is much less than opens surgery.