If you feel pain or pressure on your abdomen, especially near the area of the groin, you could have an inguinal hernia. This can be confirmed by a physician, who will then recommend options when it comes to treatment. Each case is different, but you basically have two main options in regards to treatment: laparoscopic surgery or open surgery. Both options have their merits, but the option your physician chooses for you will depend on several factors. Here’s what you should know about your options in inguinal hernia repair and treatment.
- The facts on open surgery
Open surgery is traditional surgery involving an incision made on the abdomen. This type of surgery is more invasive than laparoscopic surgery since the cut is larger. The surgeon makes the cut or incision and locates the inguinal hernia. Once they locate the inguinal hernia, they will separate it from the tissues surrounding it and manually push the tissue back into place in the abdomen. The surgeon may also strengthen certain weak muscles on the abdomen, and they may also attach a mesh to the abdominal wall in order to strengthen the tissues of the abdomen and avoid the risk of the development of another inguinal hernia. Once the procedure is done, the surgeon will close up the incision with stitches. In many cases, local anaesthesia is used, but in some cases, general anaesthesia is used as well. With local anaesthesia, you are awake but will not feel any pain when the surgeon is performing the procedure. With general anaesthesia, you will be asleep.
- The facts on laparoscopic surgery
As mentioned, laparoscopic surgery is less invasive than open surgery in that there will be no large incisions made. Instead, the surgeon will make a series of small incisions on the abdomen, where the instruments and the laparoscope (a thin tube equipped with lighting and a camera) will be inserted. Laparoscopic surgery has the benefit of leaving less prominent scars and also allowing you to recover faster, but laparoscopic surgery is more often recommended if the inguinal hernia is still small.
What you should know about risks
Just like any other surgical procedure, both open and laparoscopic surgery come with certain risks. These risks include difficulties with breathing, bleeding, infection, and an allergic reaction to medications, including anaesthesia. It’s important for the specialist to thoroughly analyse your medical history and your current physical condition.
But there are also risks which are specific to hernia, and this includes the risk of the hernia eventually growing back. Another risk is blood vessel damage as well as nerve damage if the procedure is not done correctly. That’s why it’s important to seek only the best physician and specialist you can find – such as the experts in hernia surgery in Surrey from the London Surgical Group.