What causes an Inguinal Hernia?
Everyone has natural weak point(s) in various areas of the abdominal wall due to their normal anatomy. One of these areas is in the groin (inguinal region). For children, hernia development can be congenital, but adults can develop this type of hernia as a result of strenuous activities, chronic cough, or chronic straining from difficulties with bowel movements or urination.
Symptoms of an Inguinal Hernia
Usually pain associated with a bulge in the groin is the first sign of an inguinal hernia. It can be a sharp pain or an ache that gradually gets worse as the day proceeds. Signs that the hernia is entrapped or strangulated are tenderness, redness of the overlying sking, severe unceasing pain, and the bulge not being able to be reduced or pushed back in. These are serious symptoms that must be treated immediately.
Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia Repair
The surgeons at Advanced Surgical and Bariatrics of NJ specialize in the laparoscopic approach to inguinal hernia repair, which offers patients a shorter recovery and sooner return to work and daily activities. Laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair with mesh is also associated with a lower risk of long-term chronic pain after repair versus the traditional open approach. At Advanced Surgical and Bariatrics of NJ, our surgeons will examine you and decide if the laparoscopic approach is right for you.
How is the Procedure Performed?
There are two general options for inguinal hernia repair: the open approach and the laparoscopic approach. The open approach requires a three to five inch incision in the groin area. The hernia defect is identified and repaired using a piece of surgical mesh. Local anesthetic and sedation as well as spinal anesthetic or a general anesthetic are used for this procedure. In a laparoscopic hernia repair, 3 small incisions are made where a small thin camera called a laparoscope and two working instruments are inserted through the abdominal wall. The layers of the abdominal wall are separated and the space is maintained with carbon dioxide gas. This grants the surgeon access to the hernia defect and the surrounding tissues and allows for dissection and placement of the mesh. Laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair is done under general anesthesia.
What complications can occur?
For laparoscopic hernia repair, primary complications associated with the operation are not common. There is a low risk of injury to blood vessels, nerves, the bladder, the intestines, nerves or the spermatic cord leading into the testicle. Your individual risk for these complications be reviewed with your surgeon at Advanced Surgical and Bariatrics of NJ during your consultation for surgery. For many patients after open or laparoscopic repair, there can be swelling and bruising of the abdominal wall and scrotal region. This is normal and will steadily decline and resolve completely with time. Despite the low rates of recurrence of the hernia after it has been repaired, a hernia can come back at any time. At Advanced Surgical and Bariatrics of NJ we encourage our patients to review and ask questions about specific risks, complications, and how to best reduce their risk of recurrence after repair.