Laparoscopic Hernia Repair

What is a hernia repair?

A hernia occurs when an organ or tissue bulges through a weak spot in that which contains it.

There are different types of hernias, depending on where it is found. The most common hernias are:

  • Inguinal hernias - when part of the intestine pushes through the abdomen muscles
  • Femoral hernias – when part of the intestine protrudes into the groin or upper thigh
  • Umbilical hernias – when part of the small intestine pushes through the abdomen near the belly button

In these cases, surgery is needed to move the bulging tissue back into its proper position and repair and strengthen the weak area through which it pushed through.

When is surgery needed?

Surgery is the only way to treat a hernia, and a hernia will not go away on its own. A hernia repair is generally done as treatment for a hernia that is rather large, causing symptoms of pain and discomfort or when it becomes trapped or strangulated.

How is surgery done?

If a hernia repair is advised, Dr Ross generally advises laparoscopic, keyhole surgery. A laparoscopic hernia repair offers patients a quicker return to function than traditional open repair, with similar success rates. Under general anaesthesia, through only small incisions a laparoscope fitted with a camera can be inserted into the abdomen near the hernia. Small surgical tools can then be inserted to push the displaced tissue back to its normal position and repair the weakened spot with a strengthening mesh patch. This will prevent the hernia from recurring.

In some cases, the hernia repair may need to be done through open surgery. This is generally the case with large or complex abdominal hernias, but Dr Ross will discuss the details of the surgery with you ahead of time. 

What can I expect after surgery?

After the surgery, you can expect some pain near the incision sites, but since laparoscopic surgery involves smaller incisions, your pain will be minimal and your recovery period will be shorter. You will need to stay in hospital overnight for observation. Before being discharged, your nurses will give you instructions for wound care, and you will book your follow-up appointment with your surgeon. Most patients will return to normal daily activities and go back to work within a week or two, but a full recovery may take up to 6 weeks.


parallax background

Better is possible. It does not take genius. It takes diligence.
It takes moral clarity. It takes ingenuity. And above all, it takes
a willingness to try.

Atul Gawande, Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance


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