Hernia Repair

Laparoscopic Hernia Surgery

A hernia is a sac formed out of lining of an organ that comes through the hole or weak area in the wall of a muscle, tissue, or membrane that normally holds an organ in place. Hernias are more common in in certain parts of the body such as the abdomen, groin and upper thigh area, and belly button area. They also can occur in any place where you have had an incision from surgery.

Hernia Types

There are different types of hernias based on their location. The most common types are listed above.

  • Inguinal Hernia
    It appears as a bulge in the groin or scrotum, occurring more commonly in men than women.
  • Femoral Hernia
    A femoral hernia appears as a bulge in the upper thigh, is a loop of intestine, or another part of the abdominal contents, that has been forced out of the abdomen through a channel called the “femoral canal”(a tube-shaped passage at the top of the front of the thigh). This type of hernia tends to occur in older people and is more common in women than in men.
  • Hiatus Hernia
    A hiatus hernia is when part of the stomach slides through the diaphragm, the muscular sheet that separates the lungs and chest from the abdomen.
  • Incisional Hernia
    Incisional hernia may be caused by the scar if you have had abdominal surgery.
  • Umbilical Hernia
    Umbilical hernia is a small bulge around the umbilicus (belly button). An umbilical hernia in an infant is caused by the incomplete closure of the muscles around the umbilicus.

Hernia will not get better by itself and may need to be treated surgically as they have a high risk of becoming strangulated A hernia repair is usually performed as an outpatient surgery with no overnight stay in the hospital. The operation may be performed as an “open” or “keyhole” (laparoscopic) surgery.

In open hernia repair, a large incision is made on the groin (abdomen) and the bulge is pushed back into place. Laparoscopic hernia surgery is a surgical procedure in which a laparoscope is inserted into the abdomen through a small incision. The laparoscope is a small fiber-optic viewing instrument attached with a tiny lens, light source and video camera.

Indications and contraindications

Indications for laparoscopic hernia repair over open repair may include recurrent hernias, bilateral hernias, and the need for earlier return to full activities.

Contraindications specific to laparoscopic hernia surgery include non-reducible inguinal hernia, previous peritoneal surgery, and inability to tolerate general anaesthesia.

Medical conditions including upper respiratory tract or skin infection and poorly controlled diabetes mellitus should be fully addressed and the surgery should be delayed accordingly.

Advantages over an open surgery

  • Less post-operative pain with smaller incisions and faster recovery
  • No further incisions required for patients with hernias in both groins (bilateral hernia)
  • Ideal method for patients with recurrent hernias after previous surgery
  • Early discharge from hospital
  • Earlier return to work

Disadvantages over open operation

  • General anaesthesia is required
  • Expensive
  • Unproven recurrence rate in the very long term

Laparoscopic surgery is performed in a hospital operating room under general anaesthesia. The television camera attached to the laparoscope displays the image of the abdominal cavity on a television screen. The surgeon makes three small incisions over the abdomen to insert the balloon dissector and trocars (keyholes). A deflated balloon along with the laparoscope is inserted and the balloon is inflated with a hand pump under direct vision. Once the trocars (key holes) are placed, the keyhole instruments are then inserted to repair the hernia. A sheet of mesh is inserted in through the top key hole and positioned and fixed it in the abdominal wall to reinforce the repair and help prevent recurrent hernias. After completion of the repair the CO2 gas is evacuated and the trocars are removed and the tiny incisions are closed and dressed with a sterile bandage.

Specific complications of laparoscopic hernia surgery may include local discomfort and stiffness, infection, damage to nerves and blood vessels, bruising, blood clots, wound irritation and urinary retention.

Post-Operative Guidelines

  • Pain medication will be provided and should be taken as directed
  • Remove the bandage after 24 hours
  • Swelling in the groin, at the site of hernia may occur due to serum accumulation in the cavity left by reducing the hernial sac
  • Bruising usually appears in the genital area, which is not painful and disappears over 1-2 weeks
  • You are able to drive and resume normal activities when comfortable unless otherwise instructed
  • Make a follow up visit 7 to 10 days after surgery to monitor your progress

Gallbladder Surgery

Cholecystectomy is commonly called as gall bladder surgery and is the procedure of removal of gall bladder.

Conditions that require gall bladder surgery include, severe gall stones, cholecystitis (gallbladder inflammation), and pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) secondary to gallstones, gallbladder cancer, and chronic acalculous gallbladder disease.

Cholecystectomy may be performed using open surgical technique or minimally invasive procedure. In open surgical technique, gall bladder is removed through a large incision on the upper right part of the abdomen. Minimally invasive procedure is performed using laparoscope which is a pen-like device attached with tiny camera and lens and it enables to view the larger images on video screen. Laparoscopy is much less traumatic to the muscles, ligaments, and tissues than the traditional method of surgically opening the abdomen with long incisions.

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy causes less pain, enables patients restore to work more quickly, and offers the benefits such as shorter hospital stay and shorter recovery time.

Post-operative instructions after gall bladder surgery

  • Use of medical device called an incentive spirometer for breathing and to keep the lungs working
  • You will be helped getting out of bed and walking
  • Eat a normal light diet
  • Return to light work in 3 to 4 days
  • Avoid strenuous activities for few days
  • Medications to control pain
  • You will be asked to wear pressure stockings on the legs to prevent formation of blood clot

Complications of gall bladder surgery

The most common complication associated with the cholecystectomy surgery is bile duct injury, causing leakage of bile secretions causing pain and infection. Other complications may include excessive bleeding, damage to organs, abnormal reaction to anaesthesia and development of blood clots. Gall bladder removal does not cause nutritional deficiencies and does not require any special diet after the surgery.

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