If your doctor has suggested surgery for the repair of your hernia, you may be considering an innovative new procedure called Laparoscopic Hernioplasty. Called “Lap hernia” for short, the procedure is a “Less invasive” type of surgery. Since incisions are extremely small with less invasive procedures, discomfort after surgery is reduced and recovery is shortened.
About the Laparoscopic Hernioplasty Procedure
To repair the inguinal hernia laparo–scopically, the surgeon makes three small incisions in the patient’s abdomen. Unlike the three–inch incision made in traditional open surgery, these incisions do not traumatize muscle tissue, so patients experience much less pain after surgery and return to normal activity within a week.
Next, the surgeon inserts a thin tube, or trocar, into each of the abdominal incisions. A laparoscope, which consists of a small video camera and light source, is inserted near the navel. The camera sends actual images to a monitor, allowing the surgeon to “See” inside the body.
A variety of surgical instruments access the hernia site through the second and third tubes. Through one tube a surgeon uses a “Grasper” manipulate the tissue surrounding the hernia and to position a mesh patch that covers the opening in the muscle wall. Through the other tube the surgeon attaches the mesh patch to the wall with staples or sutures. The mesh becomes a strong and permanent part of the abdominal wall. While each case is unique, the procedure can take less than an hour and usually requires no overnight stay. It is performed under general anesthesia.
The pain from the small incision is usually gone in a day or two, and at the point, it is possible to resume normal activities such as driving a car or returning to light work. Full activity is frequently permitted within about two weeks, but a check–up in the surgeon’s office is recommended before resuming strenuous activities such as heavy lifting or participating in sports.
|Lap Hernia||Traditional open Surgery|
|Hospital stay||Usually same dayprocedure||Usually same dayprocedure|
|Recovery Time||As little as 1 week||4–6 weeks|
|Scarring||3 small marks||3 – inch scar|
More and More Patients are Choosing Laparoscopic Hernioplasty
Hernia repair is one of the most commonly performed surgeries all over the world. Close to half a million are done in the United States alone – many using less invasive techniques. In fact, the number of lap hernias being performed is expected to double in the next year. The rapid growth of the lap hernia procedure stems from its many patient benefits reduced pain and scarring and quicker recovery. Although long–term results on the efficacy of this procedure will not be conclusive for another year or two, early data indicates it produces favorable clinical results.