Hernia repair surgery

A hernia is a condition where the inner layers of the abdominal wall become so weak that the lining of the abdomen bulges out into a small sac. There are different kinds of hernias which can include those found in the groin area. These kinds of hernias are called inguinal hernias. A hernia in the naval area is called an umbilical hernia. You can also develop a hiatus hernia which is when the upper part of the stomach pushes up into the diaphragm because of a weak sphincter muscle. Each kind of hernia requires a different type of hernia repair surgery. Hernia repair surgery is needed to be done to help relieve the symptoms of hernia. Each year there are about one half million hernia repair surgeries done in the U.S. alone.

Not everyone who has a hernia will need hernia repair surgery. This is because most of the time people who have small hernias can have very little symptoms. However, when a hernia is causing pain hernia repair surgery will be necessary. A hiatus hernia can cause a life threatening situation if the stomach pushes up and gets lodged in the diaphragm and will need immediate surgery. An inguinal hernia can cause a bowel obstruction which will need surgery to clear it. Hernias like these usually need surgery to repair them as they do not resolve on their own. The earlier hernia repair surgery is done the better the outcome.

There are different methods used for hernia repair. Laparoscopic surgery, Nissen fundoplication and open surgery are surgical names for various procedures that are done for hernia repair surgery. There are really only two categories of hernia repair surgeries; tension free repair and the traditional tension suture repair. No matter which type is done the weakened or torn muscle tissue is repaired and strengthened in these types of surgeries. The traditional hernia repair surgery is the tension suture surgery. This involves tightening up and suturing the bulging part of the muscle closed. The traditional hernia surgery has its drawbacks however. It can cause the muscle to be under too much stress from then on.

Tension free hernia repair is one that uses a piece of surgical mesh to close the bulging area of the muscle. Laparoscopic hernia repair surgery is one of the three different types of tension free surgeries that can be performed. Laparoscopic hernia surgery is the least invasive technique that can be done and only requires a 2’ incision. Another type is the Lichtenstein repair procedure. This type requires a 4’ incision to be made at the site of the hernia. For instance, if it is an inguinal hernia the incision is made close to the crease where the abdomen and thigh meet. An umbilical hernia requires the incision to be made close to the navel. The incision is made near the hiatus for a hiatus hernia repair. The surgical mesh is inserted through the incision and can be either placed on top of the bulge and sutured into place or it can be placed inside the muscle tear, depending on the technique used.

After hernia repair surgery the patient is able to return to a normal life after about a week or two. The average hospital stay is about 4 days. When the patient is released the doctor cautions not to do strenuous exercise during the recovery period. Hernia repair surgery is always advised if the patient is suffering from symptoms like; severe heartburn, backflow of gastric fluids into the esophagus, thinning of the esophagus due to acid damage, inflammation of the lungs and when the stomach is lodged in the chest or twisted. A bowel blockage from an inguinal hernia also requires surgery to repair. Failing to repair the hernia under these conditions can cause complications, including death.

Last updated on Feb 3rd, 2011 and filed under Medical Treatment. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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