Hernia Repair and Surgery
Have you ever thought why would you need to get your hernias repaired?
Well, hernias usually won’t get better on their own. Instead, they will tend to get bigger and bigger. In some rare cases, they can even lead to life-threatening complications. That’s why it’s important to get your hernias repaired.
Hernia repair is not new. It’s been around for a long time. Over time, the traditional hernia repair techniques have been perfected and simultaneously, new treatment options have been developed. Not every hernia repair technique can be right for every hernia, but all these techniques have a common goal:
“Providing the strongest repair possible with least chance of recurrence that too with the least possible discomfort and fastest recovery”
Are you wondering what will be included in a hernia repair?
Let’s learn everything about hernia repair and surgery here:
Do you really need a hernia surgery?
Your physician will recommend you a hernia surgery under the following circumstances:
- Your tissues become trapped in your abdominal wall, a condition called “incarceration”. If not treated, this could lead to strangulation, wherein the blood supply to your tissues will be cut off.
- Your hernia can get strangulated. It can lead to permanent damage and even death.
- Your hernia causes pain, discomfort, and grows larger in size.
On the other hand, you can wait to have a hernia repair or surgery under the following circumstances:
- Your hernia goes off when you lie down.
- You can push your hernia back into your tummy.
- Your hernia is small and causes few to no symptoms.
In any case, consult your doctor so that he/she will monitor your hernia during every visit.
Our Grandfathers’ Hernia Repair Options
Until about three years ago, hernia repairs were carried out using a method called “open tension” repair. This method will involve an open incision of three to six inches in the abdomen so as to provide the surgeon the access to the hernia. During the repair, the edges of the healthy tissues that surround the hernia will be pulled together and stitched with sutures. The incision will then be closed using an abdominal adhesive or dissolving sutures.
This method was followed for decades and was the only way to repair a larger hernia. The incision that is made in this method will be more painful and the recovery takes a long time (5 to 6 weeks). It will also leave a scar in the abdomen. The open tension repair surgery is known to have higher recurrence rates.
As the tissues are repaired in this method, it is also called Herniorrhaphy.
Today’s Advanced Hernia Repair Options:
Today, the hernia repair options make use of advanced new techniques, as well as materials, thereby making surgeries less invasive. Not just this, today’s advanced hernia repair options will decrease the time taken for recovery and the recurrences less likely. Let’s see the options below:
Non-Tension Repair or Mesh Repair (Hernioplasty)
Instead of pulling the tissues surrounding the hernia as done in the open tension repair, here a piece of mesh will be positioned in order to reinforce the region and will be fixed in place with the help of sutures and staples.
The mesh that is used in this method will be made of a flexible material that will stay in the abdomen and facilitate new tissues to grow into it. There are different types of mesh, including:
Most often, a surgeon who specializes in hernias will have experience using these advanced procedures. Consult with him/her which one he/she uses and which will work best for you. At times, the best procedure for you will be the one which the surgeon is most experienced and is most comfortable. So, never hesitate to ask!
The main advantage of this procedure is that it has a lower recurrence rate when compared to the open tension repair.
Laparoscopic Repair or Closed Repair
Several cases of inguinal hernias can be corrected using a laparoscopic procedure, especially if they are small in size. As you should be aware, this method entails inserting special devices through tiny incisions in the abdominal region through which the surgeon will be able to visualize and carry out the hernia repair.
Just like the above method, in the laparoscopic procedure also, a mesh will be used for reinforcement purposes. Thus, it has lower recurrence rates. Furthermore, as there will be smaller incisions, the patient will have less discomfort after surgery.
Robotic Hernia Repair
Just like laparoscopic surgery, this method also includes tiny incisions, a camera, and inflation of the abdomen. However, this differs from laparoscopic surgery in the way that the surgeon will be seated at a console in the operation theatre and will handle the surgical instruments from that console. Not only robotic surgery can be used to repair smaller hernias, but also they can be used to rebuild the abdominal wall.
While laparoscopic methods can offer only the two-dimensional images of the inner wall of the abdomen, the robotic method can offer some excellent three-dimensional view. Other advantages of this method include tiny scars and less pain when compared to open surgeries.
All the above-mentioned hernia repairs involve surgery and treatments. But, do you think all types of hernias require surgery? The simple answer is “NO”. We can see the non-surgical hernia repair options here:
Non-Surgical Hernia Repair
Your doctor may recommend you to wear a hernia belt, a corset, a binder, or a truss in the non-surgical hernia management. These are the supportive undergarments that will put gentle pressure on your hernia and have it in place. Thus, these garments will ease out the discomfort and pain caused by a hernia. These garments will be prescribed when you can’t have a surgery, or to temporarily relieve your pain and discomfort before surgery.
Aren’t sure where to buy a high-quality hernia belt? Follow this link for recommendations.
What’s after a Hernia Surgery?
After a hernia repair surgery, you will completely recover in about two or three weeks. After this timeline, most patients can go back to the normal day to day activities and work. Your surgeon will inform you about what you can do and cannot do depending upon the specific hernia repair surgery you have had.