Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia Repairs
What is an inguinal hernia?
A hernia develops when there are weak spots in the muscle layer that forms the abdominal wall. Through these weak spots fatty tissue or bowel can push through.
An inguinal hernia is a hernia that develops in the inguinal canal – this is a small area that allows blood vessels to pass through the abdominal wall.Hernias are particularly dangerous as the tissue or bowel that pokes through the abdominal wall can become trapped. This can cut off the blood supply to the tissue and cause it to die – referred to as a strangulated hernia.
What do laparoscopic inguinal hernia repairs entail?
There are a few different types of laparscopic hernia repair techniques:
The Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia Repair (TAPP) procedure
Surgery on an inguinal hernia will result in the patient no longer having a lump outside the abdominal wall, as the hernia is pushed back into place and secured with a mesh. For the TAPP technique, the surgeon enters the membranes covering the organs in the abdominal cavity and places a mesh to repair the hernia through the incision.
What is Laparascopic Inguinal Hernia Repair (TEP)?
One of the most common types of inguinal hernia repair is referred to as totally extraperitoneal or TEP. This procedure differs from TAPP as a mesh is used to seal the hernia from outside the thin membrane that covers the organs in the abdomen.
What are the benefits?
Surgery on this type of hernia will result in the patient no longer having a lump outside the abdominal wall, as the hernia is pushed back into place. This reduces the risk of suffering from complications that can arise from an untreated hernia.
Alternatives to inguinal hernia surgery
Sometimes a truss (a kind of belt that has special padding) may be used to help ease the side-effects of a hernia. Leaving it alone can also help to control the hernia but without surgery it is unlikely to fully heal.
Most patients return home either the same day or the day after the operation – most patients can also return to normal activities as soon as they feel comfortable enough to do so (this can sometimes take up to a week). Patients do not necessarily have to avoid lifting objects, but particularly heavy ones should not be lifted for the first fortnight to four weeks. Exercise can help with the recovery process and will also help patients return to performing normal activities as soon as possible. However, advice should be sought from your consultant before any exercise regime is begun. Even after surgery, a hernia may return if the abdominal wall is particularly weak.
Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia Repairs Consultants