Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia Repair

The abdominal muscles can develop weak spots, through which adjoining tissue can protrude resulting in a bulge, which is called hernia. An inguinal hernia occurs at the inguinal canal, a narrow passage in the abdominal wall, through which blood is fed to the testicles. A hernia can be painful, especially while bending over, coughing or heavy lifting. If left untreated, it could lead to serious complications. The bulge can put pressure on nearby structures like the intestines and cause their blood supply to be cut off. This condition is called strangulated hernia

Treatment

The most common and popular treatment for a hernia is surgery. An operation is the quickest way to repair a hernia, particularly if the bulge is growing bigger. Timely surgery also preempts any serious complications that can accompany inguinal hernia. Sometimes, the hernia can be controlled with a padded belt called a truss. However, a hernia will not go away without surgery.

The surgery is performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon makes small incisions on the abdomen. A set of surgical instruments, along with a tiny telescope will be inserted into the abdomen where the hernia has occurred. The interior preperitoneal area, where the hernia occurs is shown on a laparoscope, which guides the surgeon. The procedure entails the smoothening of the abdominal wall where the bulge occurs. Then a synthetic mesh is used to cover and strengthen the weak spot in the abdomen. The operation generally takes about one hour. If the hernia is on both sides of the abdomen, the operation can last to under an hour.

Complications

Surgical intervention to treat inguinal hernia can lead to minor complications like pain, bleeding, infection at the surgical site, scarring, and formation of blood clots. Sometimes the side effects can be more severe like:

Damage to internal organs

Development of a hernia near one of the cuts

Injury to the bowel

Surgical emphysema

Development of a lump at the site of the original hernia

Discomfort or pain in the groin

Discomfort or pain in the testicle on the side of the operation, in men

Difficulty passing urine in men

Interference with blood supply to the testicle in men

Recovery

Patients are allowed to go home the same day or the next. Convalescence may take a week before the patient can resume normal activities. You cannot lift heavy weights for two to four weeks after the operation.

Regular exercise can help you return to pre-surgery activities with ease. But you should consult the surgeon or your general practitioner for advice. Inguinal hernia occasionally returns.