The word hernia means ‘something coming through’. The condition is characterized by a swelling in the body, which develops when an organ or tissue pushes against a weak tissue or opening in the muscle. Hernias, over time, tend to worsen and require immediate intervention. Because this is a mechanical condition, surgery is the only treatment Doctors usually recommend a surgery in cases of hernia strangulation or incarceration. In strangulation, whatever is passing through the hernia (fat, intestines, etc…) is stuck and the blood supply cut off. With incarceration, those things may be stuck in the hole, and the patient very uncomfortable or the function of that organ stuck could be compromised.
Continuing on the subject, in this blog post, we give you an overview of the two types of hernia surgeries available and the risks associated. Read on.
Types of Hernia Surgery
1. Open Surgery
The surgeon makes an incision to push the hernia back into place. Afterwards, the surgeon closes the incision using stitches or staples. If the hernia is found to be too large, some support such as mesh will be added in place to prevent it from growing back into the weak spot. The recovery time of open hernia surgery is about 3 weeks.
2. Laparoscopic or Robotic Surgery
The key difference between open and laparoscopic surgery is that the latter does not require a large incision. The surgeon makes small incisions that are just big enough for a laparoscope and specially designed surgical instruments to be put through. The surgeon also inflates your abdomen with a gas so that they can get a better look at your organs. Recovery in this type of hernia repair is much faster, with most patients resuming routine work (with lifting restrictions) in 1 to 2 weeks.
- General infection of the wound as with other surgical procedures.
- Pain, especially in the case of open surgery. The area will be sore until completely healed.
- Possible nerve damage to a certain degree because of the staple, stitches, or mesh pressing on a nerve. This is extremely rare. In case of numbness around the operated area, consult your doctor immediately.
- Relapse, which can occur when a mesh is not used to seal it back into place.
A Few Last Words
Besides surgery, non-surgical alternatives can also be tried to treat hernias, with supportive garments being one of the possibilities. This won’t fix the hernia, but may alleviate some discomfort. It is, however, important that patients must use only the undergarments recommended by their doctors, as inapt support garments may result in incarceration or strangulation. If you or a loved one has developed any swelling that may indicate the possibility of a hernia, speak with an expert at DFW Bariatrics and General Surgery. Book an appointment online or simply call 469-620-0222.