Laparoscopic hernia repair is similar to other laparoscopic procedures. General anesthesia is given, and a small cut (incision) is made in or just below the navel. The abdomen is inflated with air so that the surgeon can see the abdominal (belly) organs.
A thin, lighted scope called a laparoscope is inserted through the incision. The instruments to repair the hernia are inserted through other small incisions in the lower abdomen. Mesh is then placed over the defect to reinforce the belly wall.
There are many things to think about when deciding if you should have inguinal hernia repair surgery, such as whether your hernia is incarcerated or strangulated and whether you have other conditions that need to be addressed before hernia repair surgery is appropriate.
Most people who have laparoscopic hernia repair surgery are able to go home the same day. Recovery time is about 1 to 2 weeks.
You most likely can return to light activity after 1 to 2 weeks. Strenuous exercise should wait until after 4 weeks of recovery.
Studies have found that people have less pain after laparoscopic hernia repair than after open hernia surgery.
Surgical repair is recommended for inguinal hernias that are causing pain or other symptoms and for hernias that are incarcerated or strangulated. Surgery is always recommended for inguinal hernias in children.
Laparoscopic surgery repair may not be appropriate for people who:
Laparoscopic hernia repair usually is not done on children. But a laparoscope may be used during open hernia repairs in children to explore the opposite groin for a hernia. This can be done by inserting the laparoscope into the side that is being operated on and looking at the opposite side. If a hernia is present, the surgeon can repair both sides during the same operation.
The chance of a hernia coming back after laparoscopic surgery ranges from 1 to 10 out of 100 surgeries done.1
Laparoscopic surgery has the following advantages over open hernia repair:
Some people may need special preparation before surgery to decrease the risk of complications. These are people who:
Risks of laparoscopic hernia repair include:
Laparoscopic hernia repair is different from open surgery in the following ways:
Laparoscopic repair of a hernia is more expensive than open surgery because of the higher cost of the slightly longer operating-room time and the cost of laparoscopic technology.
Last Revised: November 15, 2012
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