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All you need to know about Laparoscopic Hernia Surgery

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A hernia occurs when an organ pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue that holds it in place. For example, the intestines may break through a weakened area in the abdominal wall. Hernias are most common in the abdomen, but they can also appear in the upper thigh, belly button, and groin areas. Most hernias are not immediately life threatening, but they don’t go away on their own and can require surgery to prevent potentially dangerous complications.

Some types of Hernia include Hernia that develops in the groin, hernia in the front of the abdominal wall, hernia that develops at the site of an incision from a previous surgery. It may develop shortly after the surgery or years later. There is no way to prevent a hernia. In fact, hernias have never been linked to heavy lifting or exercise. A hernia is a hole in the muscles of the abdominal wall, and often when someone performs any heavy lifting, there is increased pressure inside the abdomen and things tend to protrude out. Thus, heavy lifting makes a hernia that is there more symptomatic, but doesn’t cause it. Often, patients feel a bulge or something moving in and out of where they have a hernia. Sometimes, patients don’t experience any symptoms related to a hernia.

Another type of hernia called Inguinal hernias are an extremely common condition that will affect 27% of males and 3% of females in developed countries throughout their lifetime. In the United States, there are an estimated 800,000 hernia operations per year making it one of the most routine procedures performed.

Swelling at the groin is the most common symptom of Hernia. This swelling is actually a bulge of intestine or fat from inside of the abdomen. In the beginning stage it can be reduced back in to the abdomen by a gentle push by fingers but sometimes it gives pain and nausea feeling. It requires a surgical repair. These can often be repaired using minimally invasive techniques with an outpatient surgery, and patient can be back at work in less than a week.

An injury, straining or weakness in the area may contribute. Some hernias don’t cause symptoms, but if you are experiencing discomfort and pain, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Left untreated, a hernia can lead to more serious, life-threatening conditions. Some patients may avoid treating their hernias because they fear painful surgery. Often, however, hernia surgery is performed on an outpatient basis with a minimal recovery period. With expertise in both minimally invasive surgery and large comprehensive surgery, a dedicated hernia centre helps ensure the operation is done right the first time. Advances in minimally invasive surgery mean that, for many patients, hernia surgery is no longer a major operation that puts you in the hospital for a week to 10 days. Patients now typically go home within a couple of days.

There is really no other way to relieve the discomfort other than having a surgical repair. If there is a significant discomfort relating to hernia, the patient should visit a surgeon to make sure there is no risk for progressing on to an emergency indication for surgery.

Femora hernias are a type of groin hernia that occurs lower down and can present with a bulge on the upper thigh. They can occur with any other type of hernia. They are more common in females. Given the higher risk of incarceration and emergency issues, we typically recommend they should be treated once they are diagnosed.

Most commonly, the length of hospital stay would be around one or two days for a single hernia surgery done by laparoscopy. If the hernia is big and complex, it may take seven to ten days depending up on the surgery performed. It is typically determined by the physical examination and by a CT scan. Symptomatic Umbilical hernia can be repaired as an outpatient basis with a small incision and repair with stitches or by a mesh. Most likely within a week patient can return to normal activity with not much difficulty.

Complications in laparoscopy can happen from the step of port entry to port but in experienced hands they are quite few. Bleeding, intestine injury, mesh infection, nerve entrapment and pain, port infection, recurrences are the common complications may happen during the surgery or after discharge from the hospital. Large incision hernias can be very complex operations that have serious potential side effects and risk of postoperative complications. While mesh is certainly not perfect, there really are no other alternatives to result in a durable long-term repair. However, with new innovative surgical approaches and newer meshes, the risk of mesh is continuing to decrease.

by Dr.VarunRaju.Thirumalagiri Chief Laparoscopic Surgeon, Omni Hospitals

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