Laparoscopic Hernia Repair

What is a hernia?

A hernia is normally determined an imperfection in the abdominal wall musculature, which results in a bulge under your skin.

These bulges can generally be found:

  • At your umbilicus (belly button)
  • In one or both groins
  • At previous surgical incisions.

Occasionally causing little to no discomfort, you may only feel pain when:

  • Lifting  heavy objects
  • Coughing
  • Strain during urination or bowel movements
  • Prolonged sitting or standing

How will I know if I have a hernia?

  • Pain when lifting heavy objects
  • Pain when coughing
  • Straining during urination or bowel movements
  • Pain after prolonged sitting or standing
  • A bulge under your skin

Prevalent towards the end of the day, you may notice a sharp pain or dull ache. Severe discomfort, redness, nausea or vomiting that is associated with the bulge are common signs that the hernia may be strangulated.

These are indication as cause for concern and immediate contact of your physician or surgeon is suggested.

What is a ventral hernia?

A ventral hernia usually arises in the abdominal wall where a pervious surgical incision had been made. Abdominal muscles that have weakened in this area result in a bulge or tear. This causes the inner lining of the abdomen to push through the weakened area of the abdominal wall, forming a balloon-like sac. From this, abdominal contents or a loop of intestines can find their way pushed into the sac.

If the contents get stuck within the sac they can in turn become trapped leading to potentially serious problems that may require immediate emergency surgery.

Additionally, ventral hernias can develop in the umbilicus (belly button) or any other area within the abdominal wall.
Remember, a hernia will not dissipate over time, nor will it go away by itself.

What causes a ventral hernia?

  • An incision in your abdominal wall
  • Heavy straining
  • Aging
  • Injury
  • An infection following surgery

Hernias can occur immediately following surgery, but symptoms may not become apparent until years after the procedure.

How is this procedure performed?

Options available for a patient with a ventral hernia include

  • Incision in the abdominal wall: May travel through part or all of a previous incision, an underlying fatty layer or skin and into the abdomen.  Frequently this procedure will require a placement of mesh in or abdominal wall, but the surgeon may opt to sew your natural tissue back together.
  • Laparoscopic Hernia Repair: A tiny telescope with a television camera attached (a laparoscope) is inserted through a small hollow tube. The laparoscope and camera allow the surgeon to view the hernia internally.
  • Performed under general anesthesia
  • Other small incisions will be required for other small cannulas and placement of other instruments to remove any scar tissue.
  • Mesh or screen is inserted and placed under the hernia defect. This is held in place with surgical tacks and sutures.
  • Typically, three to four ¼ inch to ½ inch incisions are needed.
  • Sutures that go through the entire thickness of the abdominal wall are placed through smaller incisions around the mesh.

What are the advantages of the Laparoscopic Repair?

Advantages may include:

  • Less pain post-operation
  • Faster return to daily diet
  • Rapid return to normal daily activity
  • A shortened hospital stay

What complications can occur?

  • Adverse reactions to general anesthesia, bleeding, or injury to the intestines or other abdominal organs.
  • Infection in the mesh may cause it to be removed or replaced.
  • Pneumonia, blood clots, heart problems (if patient is prone to them)
© 2017, Dr. Nick H. Gabriel. All Rights Reserved.
Bariatric Surgeon Dr. Nick H. Gabriel, D.O.