Currently, there are two broad categories of approaches to repair abdominal wall hernias: laparoscopic and open hernia repair.
Laparoscopic (minimally invasive)
Laparoscopic (minimally invasive) is currently the most frequently utilized approach for hernia repair in the US. This typically involves several small (less than one cm in length) incisions on the abdomen through which instruments are placed that allow the surgeon to repair the hernia. This is typically performed with a high-definition video monitor, thereby allowing the surgeon excellent visualization of the hernia. In some cases simply placing stitches may be sufficient to repair the hernia. In many cases however, a synthetic patch or mesh may be necessary in order to adequately close the hernia. Laparoscopic approaches are generally deemed to have several advantages over open surgery. These include:
- Less pain after the procedure
- Significantly reduced recovery time
- Fewer complications
- Less scarring
- Shorter hospital stay
Open Hernia Repair
In some cases, an open hernia repair may be better suited to a particular patient’s needs. This typically involves a formal incision over the hernia at which point the surgeon will replace any herniated organs within the abdominal cavity. The hernia is then closed with either stitches or a synthetic mesh.
One advantage of open hernia repair is the ability to perform an abdominal wall reconstruction. In many of these operations, a moderate amount of excess skin is removed as well, creating a smoother and firmer abdominal profile.
At our clinic, many of our abdominal wall reconstructions are performed in tandem by both a general surgeon, as well as a plastic and reconstructive surgeon. It should be noted that almost all major insurance carriers cover abdominal wall reconstruction.
Regardless of the approach—laparoscopic or open—many of these procedures allow patients to be discharged on the day of surgery. Overnight stays may be required for more complex hernia repairs. Many people are able to work from home within three to four days after surgery.
Learn more about hernia recovery by selecting below or schedule your appointment today and talk to an expert.