Surgery Choices for Hernia Repair

While many surgeons tend to agree that certain operations are best done laparoscopically, there is disagreement over whether minimally invasive or traditional open surgery is best for other types of abdominal surgery like certain kinds of hernia repair. For example, repair of inguinal hernias in men is a common surgical procedure, but the most effective surgical technique is a controversial topic. Add robotic surgery to the conversation, and patients might start wondering just what is the best option for hernia surgery. Understanding all of your options will help you to decide which surgical method is best for you.

There are many different kinds of hernia repair, but the three major categories are:

  • Tension Repair – In this procedure, the surgeon makes an incision in the abdomen over the hernia site, pushes any protruding tissue back into the correct position within the abdominal cavity, and then stitches the incision closed. This type of repair is called a tension repair because the stitches put tension on each side of the defect in order to keep it closed.
  • Tension-Free Repair – Tension-free techniques are the most common hernia repair techniques and are considered the standard of care by the American College of Surgeons. Tension-free repair techniques use a piece of mesh to bridge the hernia defect as opposed to sewing the two sides of the incision above the hernia together with stitches.
  • Laparoscopic Tension-Free Repair – To perform a laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair, the surgeon makes small incisions on the abdominal wall and inserts small tubes, through which an endoscope and dissecting instruments can be passed. The entire procedure is watched by the operating team on a video screen. The space under the inguinal canal or within the abdominal wall is dissected and any organs that have entered the hernia sac are brought back into the abdominal cavity. A piece of mesh is then placed over the weakened area and held in place with any of a variety of attachment devices.

Robotic surgery is also a laparoscopic technique but with another layer of technology that allows superior dexterity and much less surgeon fatigue than other methods. The 3D viewing ability along with other advances make minimally invasive robotic surgery the best option for some cases.

Make an appointment with Dr. Johnson to see what the best option is for you.

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