What is Inguinal Hernia?
Inguinal Hernias are a result of either fatty or intestinal tissue pushing through a weak region in the abdominal wall. Inguinal Hernia can be caused by a good number of factors including -
- You are at high risk of getting an inguinal hernia if you have a family history of hernia, especially in adult males.
- Males have chances of having an inguinal hernia with older age as well as being overweight.
- Smoking can be a precursor to inguinal hernia due to persistent coughing.
- The risk of having a hernia increases with a strenuous lifestyle. And with an existing hernia on one side, there are chances you might develop one on the other side.
When does one require surgery for Inguinal Hernia?
Deciding to go for an inguinal hernia repair surgery depends on a lot of factors –
- Whether your hernia is incarcerated or strangulated?
- Whether you have other medical conditions that need to be addressed for the hernia repair surgery?
What is the Pre-surgery steps for Inguinal Hernia Repair?
Consult with the doctor to decrease complications if you -
- Have a condition of blood clots.
- If you smoke.
- If you are taking large doses of aspirin, that slows blood coagulation and should increase the chances of bleeding after surgery.
- Are on blood-thinning drugs.
- Have severe urinary problems mostly caused by an enlarged prostate?
How is Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia Repair performed?
If the hernia is small and isn't causing discomfort, then the doctor might recommend waiting before undergoing surgery.
Enlarged or painful hernias require immediate surgery to relieve discomfort as well as to prevent serious complications. Inguinal Hernia is usually treated under two kinds - open hernia repair and laparoscopic repair.
Open Inguinal Hernia Repair Procedure-
- In the open or traditional inguinal Hernia repair surgery is often done under general, spinal, or local anesthesia. The surgeon then makes an incision in the patient's groin and pushes the protruding tissue back into the abdomen. The weak tissues are then sewn and reinforced with a synthetic mesh called hernioplasty post, the incision is closed with stitches, staples, or surgical glue.
- Post-surgery you are asked to move around as soon as possible. However, you will be able to resume normal activities only after a couple of weeks.
Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia Repair Procedure
- Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgery and the surgeon imparts general anesthesia. The surgeon makes a few small incisions in the abdomen and gas is passed through these small incisions to inflate the abdomen. This makes the organs appear distinct and easier to see.
- Then a small tube equipped with a laparoscope is inserted into one incision. Guided by the laparoscope the surgeon inserts tiny instruments through other incisions to repair the hernia. In some cases, a synthetic mesh is used to restore the abdominal wall.
If the patient has hernias on each side, both hernias are often repaired at the same time without the necessity of a second surgery.
Laparoscopic surgery makes it possible for the surgeon to look at both groin areas and minutely check the hernias sites for any defects.
As a part of the procedure, patches or mesh are placed over weakened areas to restore them as well as to prevent a hernia from recurring at the same spot or a different spot.
What is the difference between Laparoscopic Vs. Open Surgery for Inguinal Hernia?
Patients who have undergone Laparoscopic repair may feel less discomfort and scarring post-surgery and make a quicker return to normal activities.
Laparoscopy is considered the best choice for people whose hernias recur after open hernia surgery as well as for people with bilateral hernias (on each side of the body).
Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia surgery is not appropriate for patients who:
- Have an incarcerated hernia.
- Are allergic to general anesthesia.
- Have bleeding disorders.
- Are on blood thinner drugs.
- Have had prior abdominal surgeries as the connective tissue may make the surgery difficult through the laparoscope.
- With severe lung diseases. As Co2 released to inflate the abdomen would cause breathing problems.
- The patient is pregnant.
- The patient is extremely obese.
- The patient is a child.
However, most patients prefer laparoscopy as -
- It causes less pain and the rate of recovery is faster.
- Recurrent hernias can be eliminated through laparoscopic techniques.
- It is feasible to repair bilateral hernias on either side at the same time.
How is Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia is Recovered?
- A patient can go home the same day and, in some cases, might require an overnight stay under observation.
- Recovery time is usually a week or two with light activity.
- Avoid strenuous activities as well as exercise for at least a month.
- Timely surgery can help cure inguinal hernias, but there is always a slight risk of recurrence and complications. There can also be an infection after surgery or poor surgical wound healing. Ensure you call your doctor in case you experience new symptoms or side effects post-treatment.
What are the Risks and complication of Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia Repair?
- Risks of general anesthesia.
- Pain in the testicles or the spermatic cord.
- Damage to the spermatic cord might leave you infertile.
- Inability to urinate or a bladder injury.
- Infection from the administered mesh or the stitches.
- Possibility of an injury to blood vessels, belly organs, and nerves.
- Numbness or pain within the thigh.
- Recurrence of the hernia.