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What Do Surgeons Do During Hernia Surgery?

When a tissue or organ enters a weak muscle wall, a hernia takes place. This condition does not heal on its own, but it can worsen over time.

Hernia can lead to fatal cases. For example, when the small intestine strangles from abdominal muscles, that organ will suffer from gangrene and death. Other symptoms include fever, nausea, discolouration in the area, and intense pain.

Hernia can be congenital because some have weak abdominal walls since birth. But other people develop hernias through the years.

Because of this, hernia repair is common in Australia and the United States. According to Medibank, around 40,000 Australians undergo this surgery.

In this article, you will learn the different types of hernia repair surgery and their procedures.

Open hernia repair

During open hernia repair, the patient will sleep under general anesthesia. The surgeons will open the skin on the groin with an incision. From there, they will push the bulging hernia to its correct location.

Then, the surgeons will stitch the weaker portions of the muscle. This way, the tissue will no longer slip through, and the area will be more durable.

If the hernia is much larger, the surgeons may place a flexible mesh there. This implant will support the bulging tissue and prevent complications.

The patient may go home on the same day and recover within a week. But they cannot exercise or exert pressure in the area for at least a month since the day of the surgery.

Laparoscopic hernia repair

This type of hernia surgery involves a laparoscope, a thin tube with a camera and instruments. The surgeon will make a small incision at the patient’s belly button.

From this tiny cut, he will insert the laparoscope. Then, they will inflate the abdomen with carbon dioxide to improve their field of view. The surgeons will see the patient’s internal organs on a television screen.

Once they locate the hernia, the surgeons will make three tiny cuts into the affected region. From these incisions, they will expose the weak inner layer of the abdomen and install a mesh. This implant will strengthen the area to avoid hernias.

Finally, the surgeon will stitch the wounds or apply surgical tape over them.

Laparoscopic hernia repair presents many advantages. Instead of one large incision, the operation will only leave barely visible scars. The recovery is also shorter and less painful.

Robotic hernia repair

Robotic hernia repair uses the same techniques in laparoscopic surgery. This kind of operation also utilizes tiny cuts, carbon dioxide, and a small camera.

But, as the name indicates, this hernia repair involves robotics. The surgeon is in a console where he controls the machinery.

Robotic hernia repair’s primary advantage is vision. The robot gives surgeons three-dimensional images of the internal organs. Aside from this, this machine can also perform quick yet better stitches.

This approach is also most applicable for small hernias.

The risks of hernia repair surgery

Although hernia surgery has high success rates, it has risks and complications too. These include infections, blood clots, pain, and recurrence of the hernia.

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