Laparoscopic Hernia Surgery

Hernia is a sac formed out of lining of an organ that comes through the hole or weak area in the wall of a muscle, tissue, or membrane that normally holds an organ in place. Hernias are more common in certain parts of the body such as the abdomen, groin and upper thigh area, and belly button area. They also can occur in any place where you have had an incision from surgery.
Hernia will not get better by itself and may need to be treated surgically as it has a high risk of becoming strangulated A hernia repair is usually performed as an outpatient surgery with no overnight stay in the hospital. The operation may be performed as an ‘open’ or ‘keyhole’ (laparoscopic) surgery.

In open hernia repair, a large incision is made on the groin (abdomen) and the bulge is pushed back into place. Laparoscopic hernia surgery is a surgical procedure in which a laparoscope is inserted into the abdomen through a small incision. The laparoscope is a small fibre-optic viewing instrument attached with a tiny lens, light source and video camera.

Advantages over open surgery

  • Less post-operative pain with smaller incisions and faster recovery
  • No further incisions required for patients with hernias in both groins (bilateral hernia)
  • Ideal method for patients with recurrent hernias after previous surgery
  • Early discharge from hospital
  • Earlier return to work

Laparoscopic surgery is performed in a hospital operating room under general anaesthesia. The television camera attached to the laparoscope displays the image of the abdominal cavity on a television screen. The surgeon makes three small incisions over the abdomen to insert the balloon dissector and trocars (keyholes). A deflated balloon along with the laparoscope is inserted and the balloon is inflated with a hand pump under direct vision. Once the trocars (key holes) are placed, the keyhole instruments are then inserted to repair the hernia. A sheet of mesh is inserted through the top key hole and positioned and fixed in the abdominal wall to reinforce the repair and help prevent recurrent hernias. After completion of the repair, the CO2 gas is evacuated and the trocars are removed and the tiny incisions are closed and dressed with a sterile bandage.

Specific complications of laparoscopic hernia surgery may include local discomfort and stiffness, infection, damage to nerves and blood vessels, bruising, blood clots, wound irritation and urinary retention.

Post-Operative Guidelines

  • Pain medication will be provided and should be taken as directed
  • Remove the bandage after 24 hours.
  • Swelling in the groin, at the site of hernia, may occur due to serum accumulation in the cavity left by reducing the hernial sac.
  • Bruising usually appears in the genital area, which is not painful and disappears over 1-2 weeks.
  • You are able to drive and resume normal activities when comfortable unless otherwise instructed.
  • Make a follow up visit 7 to 10 days after surgery to monitor your progress.

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