Inguinal or ‘groin’ hernias are a common site for hernias to develop in adults. These hernias will develop as the result of a weakness, tear, gap or opening in the muscle wall of the lower abdomen or groin. As a result, the contents of the abdomen, such as intestine, may protrude through the opening creating a pain and a bulge.
Inguinal Hernias are located in the lower abdomen (right side, left side or both sides), just above the leg crease, near or adjacent to the pubic area.
Inguinal hernias may be present since birth (Congenital) or they can be the result of repetitive pressure, strain or injury to the muscles of the abdominal wall (Acquired).
The pain and bulge may be constant, or intermittent in duration. Sometimes only a mild pain, ache or burning in the groin area may occur prior to the development of an obvious bulge. This pain may also radiate into the hip region, back, leg or even down towards the genitalia region.
Repair of the inguinal hernia can be performed through traditional open repair and through the laparoscopic approach. In the traditional open repair an incision is made over the hernia about 3-4 inches in length. In laparoscopic surgery three small incisions each about 1/4 of an inch are made and the hernia is fixed. Finally, while most inguinal hernias are fixed with a mesh, we also offer mesh-free repairs for patients.
There are specific advantages to each type of repair and in discussion we can identify the best option for you.
Incisional/Ventral Abdominal wall Hernia
Incisional hernias are defects that develop at the site of a prior surgical incision.
A ventral hernia, such as an umbilical hernia, are congenital defects that are present since birth. Both types of hernias can increase in size with time.
A hernia is a bulge or a tear in the area where the abdominal muscles have weakened. The bulge that is felt is when part of the organ of the abdomen, usually the intestine or the colon, protrudes through a weak point or tear in the thin muscular wall that holds the abdominal organs in place.
What are the symptoms of a hernia?
An incisional hernia causes a bulge in the abdominal area. Although it may be painless, hernias usually cause some pain or discomfort. Additionally, symptoms such as bloating, nausea, and constipation may result from a hernia. The symptoms of a hernia can be worsened by physical strain, such as lifting heavy objects, coughing, or straining during bowel movements. The bulge may disappear when lying down, and be more visible when standing up.
How is a laparoscopic ventral hernia repair performed?
Using a small instruments and a specialized camera the hernia is repaired. A few small incisions about 1/4 inch in length are made to repair the hernia. A mesh is placed under the prior hernia defect site inside the abdomen and fixed to the fascia (strong connective tissue) of the abdomen wall.
What are the advantages of the laparoscopic approach?
There are many advantages to this approach, including quicker recovery and shorter hospital stays, as well as a significantly reduced risk of infection and recurrence.
Patients usually go home within 24 hours after laparoscopic repair, as opposed to a longer hospital stay after open repair, and report less pain and quicker return to normal activity.