Every year, more than 600,000 hernia repair procedures are performed. Some of the procedures are done using the open method surgery while others are done using the laparoscopic method. However, of the two procedures, laparoscopic hernia repair has proven to be a lesser risk procedure. Additionally, its benefits are more than that of the open method. Here’s all you need to know about it.
What is a laparoscopic hernia repair procedure?
Laparoscopic Hernia Repair is a technique used to fix tears in the abdominal wall muscle using tiny incisions, a telescope called a laparoscope connected to a special camera and a mesh. During this procedure, the doctor can view the surrounding tissue of the hernia on a video screen. The incisions made are often only a quarter-inch, and you only need three or four small incisions. Over the hernia defect, the doctor puts a surgical mesh and holds it with surgical staples.
Additionally, unlike with other procedures, the mesh is only placed behind the muscle with weakness. Plus, the hernia is fixed from the inside. As such, this surgery may take longer and requires the use of advanced laparoscopic equipment.
Unlike the open method, general anesthesia is used for the procedure. In some instances, your surgeon may choose to use spinal or regional anesthesia. It’s also an outpatient procedure, and you can go home the same day after the surgery. However, not all hernia repairs use this method. The most common conditions to use this method are;
- Ventral or incision hernia
- Inguinal hernia
- Parastomal hernia
Why laparoscopic hernia repair is a good choice
This procedure is a bit new but has proven quite effective. If you are having doubts about what makes it an excellent choice, here are reasons why you should choose it;
1. No scar remains
This type of surgery is a great option for someone looking for ways to avoid the long, unpleasant-looking surgical scars that are so often the aftermath of surgery. Since this technique uses small incisions, they heal way faster but leave no scar behind.
Additionally, unlike other procedures, your surgeon doesn’t need to make other incisions if you have a hernia on the other side as well. They use the same incisions. This differentiates it greatly from traditional procedures.
2. Shorter, quicker recovery
Patients can heal faster from this surgery than other types of hernia repair. As compared to other procedures, complete healing time ranges between one and two weeks. You can therefore get back to your day-to-day life activities including work and chores sooner. Plus, considering that it costs several thousands of dollars to stay at the hospital for recovery, this procedure saves you money. You can go home after surgery and take only a day or two off work.
Plus, for some patients, the postoperative pain is minimal and manageable with fewer wound infections. That means you only need to take a few pain medications before full recovery. Moreover, you will have fewer dressing bandages to deal with and fewer topical medicines. This benefits anyone who wants to avoid pain and soreness around the wound.
3. Less inflammation and fewer adhesions than open surgery
Once again, the smaller incision wounds make it a great technique to avoid adhesions and inflammation. Where there’s little to no inflammation means there are few chances of viral or bacterial infections. And since adhesions are also a result of inflammation or the surgical method used, it’s safe to say you will experience little to none.
Moreover, since an adhesion forms a band of scar tissue between your organs and abdominal tissues, there are other risks involved. These include blocking the intestines hence hindering them from doing their work and even causing infertility in some female patients. You can prevent all these by taking this low-risk procedure.
4. A more efficient procedure
The laparoscopic procedure uses a laparoscope which is a special kind of telescope with miniature cameras during the procedure. This allows the surgeon to get a clear view of your internal organs. This closer view can help them avoid any surgical mishaps that occur from not getting a better view of the inside of the body part where surgery is taking place. That way, surgeons complete the operation with incredible skill and enviable efficiency. If your surgeon is experienced, there are lower chances that your hernia will recur.
5. Less painful than other procedures
This procedure is also less painful than the other procedures. Even after the surgery, you will experience less persisting pain. At least 66 percent of patients agree to feeling little to no pain after the procedure. That is why you can get back to doing your daily activities a day or two after the surgery including exercising, sexual intercourse, and showering. Additionally, for this procedure the patient experiences little blood loss compared to other procedures.
Is this approach for everyone?
The laparoscopic technique is not for everyone. However, you will only find out if it’s best for you after undergoing some examinations. Additionally, if your doctor recommends it for you, you should consider choosing a more experienced surgeon as not all of them have the training for it.
This technique requires advanced training and more advanced workup. Moreover, when you have a large, chronic, and long-standing hernia, it can be difficult to repair. Only a highly-skilled, experienced surgeon can repair it successfully using this method.
When is it time to contact your doctor for the procedure?
There are several symptoms that you cannot ignore if you have a hernia. These symptoms include;
- Having persistent fever higher than 39 degrees Celsius
- Experiencing chills
- Difficulty in eating and drinking
- Shortness of breath or coughing persistently
- An increase in abdominal swelling
- Extreme pain that is not relieved by pain medication
The laparoscopic hernia procedure is considered the gold method in its field. It’s proven to be effective with numerous benefits. Additionally, this procedure is a great choice for anyone who needs to get back to their daily activities as soon as possible. Although the initial cost of surgery might be high, it’s proven economical as you do not need to stay at the hospital post-surgery. For more information, feel free to contact us.