Hernia repair is the surgical procedure to fix a hernia, also known as herniorrhaphy. A hernia occurs when part of an internal organ or body part protrudes into an area where it shouldn’t. Most hernias occur in the abdominal area, which causes an abdominal bulge under the skin of the abdomen, usually near the groin or navel. There are two kinds of hernia repair:
Traditional (open) hernia repair – A cut is open in the skin near the affected area and the hernia is repaired through an opening that is several inches long.
Laparoscopic hernia repair – In this less-invasive procedure, several small holes are made in the skin. A laparoscope is then inserted along with long-handled surgical instruments to repair the hernia.
Who is a candidate?
Candidates for hernia repair include anyone with a hernia as they do not go away on their own. Your surgeon at Jefferson Surgical Clinic will help you decide which procedure is best for repair.
What to expect
For most people, hernia repair does not require overnight hospitalization. This procedure can be done under different kinds of anesthesia. If you receive general anesthesia, you will be unconscious during the procedure. If you are given spinal, regional or local anesthesia, you will remain awake, but pain will be blocked in the area of surgery.
Traditional hernia repair – In a traditional repair, an incision several inches long is made near the hernia. Once the surgeon can clearly see the herniated body part, they will gently push it back into place. Then the weakness or hole in the abdominal wall is repaired with stitches. Finally, the outer skin incision is closed with stitches.
Laparoscopic hernia repair – In a laparoscopic repair, a harmless gas is injected into the abdomen to inflate it. This gives the surgeon more room to work and a better view.
Next, the laparoscope is inserted through a small incision at the navel. Other surgical instruments are inserted in several other small incisions in the abdomen. These may include tools for cutting and stapling. A camera on the laparoscope transmits images from your abdomen to a viewing screen. These images guide the surgeon in using the surgical instruments.
The surgeon gently pulls the herniated body part back into its proper place before positioning a mesh patch over the weakness in the abdominal wall. The patch is secured in place with harmless staples, surgical clips or stitches. At the end of the procedure, the abdomen is deflated, and the small incisions are closed with sutures or surgical tape.
After surgery, you will be monitored closely and given pain medication. Most people recover within a few hours and can go home the same day.