Laparoscopic Hernia Surgery

When you develop a hernia, the only way to remove it is with surgery. Leaving the hernia untreated will increase the risk of it becoming strangulated, which could prove to be fatal.

There are two different methods that can be used to repair a hernia. These include laparoscopic and open hernia surgery. To determine which one is better, it helps to have a good understanding of both techniques.

Laparoscopic hernia surgery

Laparoscopic hernia surgery is a minimally invasive procedure, first introduced in the 1990’s. It is carried out under general anaesthetic, and three small incisions will usually be made in the abdomen. A small tube with a camera will be inserted through one of the incisions. Tools that the surgeon needs to repair the hernia will be passed through the other two.

Using the tools, the surgeon will pull the hernia back into place, securing it with mesh before stitching the incisions back up.

Open hernia surgery

Open hernia surgery is carried out under either a local or general anaesthetic. Once the area is fully numb, the surgeon will make a single incision, measuring around 6-8cm in length, over the hernia site. With immediate access to the hernia, they will push it back into place, before securing mesh to the abdominal wall. The area is then sealed with dissolvable stitches.

Whichever procedure you choose, there are risks you need to be aware of. While the risks are low, they include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding and bruising
  • Recurrence
  • Pain
  • Scar tissue formation
  • Urinary retention

You can discuss the risks and complications with the surgeon during your consultation.

Which is better?

There isn’t a lot of research into whether laparoscopic or open hernia surgery is better. However, the few studies that have been carried out show that laparoscopic procedures will produce better results.

Laparoscopic hernia surgery leads to a faster recovery, results in less blood loss, and requires a shorter hospital stay. Patients very rarely report chronic (long term) pain after the procedure, and there is also a reduced risk of hernia recurrence.

While a laparoscopic procedure may offer better results in most cases, it might not be the best option for everyone. As it is carried out under general anaesthetic, some patients may be at a greater risk when undergoing the surgery than others. The type of hernia you have will also determine which procedure is right for you.

If you need to undergo surgery to repair a hernia, book a consultation with Mr Michael Stellakis today. He will help you decide which procedure is right for you and answer any questions that you have.