Any abnormal protrusion or bulge from an organ or a tissue through a damaged or weakened muscle wall, which breaks the natural barrier, is known as a ‘Hernia’. These swellings are initially small and go unnoticed but gradually enlarge over a period of time. They are typically seen in the abdominal area but can occur in other areas like the groins, umbilicus (belly button), and the lower chest. Hernias occur due to excess strain exerted over a tissue or organ by activities like lifting heavy objects, chronic (long-lasting) cough or constipation, which increases the pressure within. Other predisposing factors include family history, multiple pregnancies, trauma or injury, smoking, obesity (being overweight), and a previous surgery.
Mild cases of hernia do not require any treatment except periodic monitoring, to check their growth, however, larger hernias with obvious symptoms require surgical intervention.
Let’s discuss further about hernia surgery, and the duration of the procedure of each surgical approach.
What is Hernia Surgery?
Hernia surgery is a surgical procedure that involves the repair of a bulge or protrusion of any organ through weakened muscle. The main principle behind a hernia repair is to find the hernia sac, remove its content, push the protruded tissue or organ back to its original position and place a mesh over it. The mesh used is an artificial prosthesis usually made up of plastic that helps to secure the tissue or organ and prevent recurrence.
There are three surgical procedures involved in a hernia repair that include:
- Open traditional hernia surgery
- Laparoscopic hernia surgery
- Robotic hernia surgery
Each surgical approach has a different technique involved and the duration of the procedure is different for different techniques. Your surgeon evaluates your lump and other clinical symptoms to choose the right surgical approach for you. The time taken for the surgery depends on several factors like:
- The type of hernia
- The size of the lump
- Your age
- The severity and complexity of the condition
- The cost
- Presence of other debilitating conditions like diabetes (increased blood sugar levels), hypertension (high blood pressure), blood disorders etc.
- Surgical preparation
- Time taken when patient is kept under observation in the recovery room
How Long Does Hernia Surgery Take Basis on Types of Surgery?
When you are diagnosed with hernia and your doctor suggests you undergo surgery, it is quite natural for you to be anxious and nervous. You may have several questions in your mind, but the most important query would be-how long does the hernia surgery take? This probably depends on the type of surgery recommended by your surgeon. Basic hernia surgery may take less than 1 or 2 hours, however if you experience any complications then you may have to undergo a complex procedure to repair the hernia which may prolong your surgery duration. Below is a general time frame that is mentioned for a basic non-complicated hernia and a complex complicated hernia.
Basic hernia surgery ( Open or traditional approach)
- This surgical technique usually involves the administration of general anesthesia and an overnight stay in the hospital (sometimes 2-3 days). A large incision (cut) is made to remove the defect and place a mesh over it.
- You may be admitted to the hospital 2 to 3 hours before the scheduled procedure time.
- A nurse checks your vitals which includes blood sugar level, BP (pod pressure) and pulse which may take around 10 to 15 minutes.
- You would be taken to the OT (operation theater), prepared for the surgery and given anesthesia, which usually takes 15 to 20 minutes.
You may be admitted to the hospital 2 to 3 hours before the scheduled procedure time.
A nurse checks your vitals which includes blood sugar level, BP (pod pressure) and pulse which may take around 10 to 15 minutes.
You would be taken to the OT (operation theater), prepared for the surgery and given anesthesia, which usually takes 15 to 20 minutes.
Surgical preparation (cleaning the surgical site with an antiseptic solution, fixing the vital machines for BP, pulse, and oxygen level) begins which generally takes 10 to 15 minutes.
- Actual surgical time involved to complete the sac removal and mesh placement may take around 30 to 60 minutes.
- You will be kept in the recovery room for 1 to 2 hours.
Laparoscopic or robotic surgery
- This approach works on the same surgical principle but a special medical device called laparoscope is used which is inserted through tiny holes or cuts.
- The laparoscope consists of a tiny camera and light source that takes images and projects them on a projection screen to guide the surgeon to perform the surgery.
- Robotic surgery is a technique where the surgeon uses a robotic arm and is seated on a console to handle the anatomical structures through 3D images.
- It is an outpatient procedure and you can go home the same day.
- You will be admitted to the hospital 2 hours before your scheduled timing.
- A nurse checks your vitals which includes blood sugar level, BP and pulse which may take around 10 to 15 minutes.
- You will be wheeled to the OT and prepared for the surgery that usually takes around 15 to 30 minutes.
- The actual surgical time taken for the sac removal and mesh placement and suturing is around 1 to 2 hours
- You will be kept under observation in the recovery room for at least 1 to 2 hours before you are discharged.
Complex hernia surgery
Open hernia surgery
- Complex hernias are large, recurrent hernias that most often require an abdominal wall reconstruction.
- You will be admitted to the hospital 2 hours before your surgery begins.
- A nurse checks your vitals like blood sugar levels, BP, and pulse which may take anywhere between 10 to 15 minutes.
- You will be taken to the OT and prepared for the procedure which usually takes 20 to 40 minutes.
- The actual surgical time for.complex hernias takes approximately 3 to 6 hours.
- You will be shifted to the recovery room for at least 1 to 2 hours before being shifted to your room.
- You will be kept under observation for at least 2 to 3 days since it is a complex procedure.
Laparoscopic or robotic surgery
- You will be admitted to the hospital at least 2 to 3 hours before your scheduled time of surgery.
- You will be taken to the OT, prepped and given anesthesia which usually takes around 20 to 45 minutes.
- The time taken to complete the actual procedure via laparoscopic or robotic approach for complex hernias takes around 2 to 5 hours.
- You will be kept in a recovery room post surgery for at least 1 to 2 hours for continuous monitoring before you are shifted to your room.
- You are likely to be kept under observation for 24 hours post-surgery of complex hernias, to prevent any post-op complications.
Hernias are abnormal protrusions of organs or tissues through weakened muscle walls disrupting the natural barrier. Large hernias require surgery since they may lead to several complications if left untreated and affect your overall quality of life.Surgical hernia repair can be done through open, laparoscopic or robotic approach and the duration of each surgical approach is different for non-complicated and complex hernias.
No matter what kind of hernia repair you need, our team at Medfin have the experience and expertise in performing basic as well as most complex hernia procedures with the best outcomes and shorter recovery times.
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