Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia Repair

A hernia (her-nee-uh) is a weakness or tear in the wall of an organ that causes a part of that organ to squeeze through the muscle wall. An inguinal (in-gwih-null) or groin hernia is a hernia that occurs where the lower belly (abdomen) joins the legs.

Is surgery needed?

A hernia tends to increase in size over time and usually does not go away. There is a danger that other belly (abdominal) organs such as bowel could become stuck inside the hernia. This would require emergency surgery.

What is a laparoscopic inquinal hernia repair?

A laparoscopic (lap-er-uh-skop-ic) inguinal hernia repair is a type of surgery used to repair the hernia. A special device called a laparoscope is used. Small (about one inch) incisions are made to allow the insertion of the laparoscope and surgical instruments. Attached to the laparoscope is a special tiny TV camera. The surgeon can look at a magnified view of the hernia and surrounding areas on a monitor. A piece of special medical material, called mesh, is used to strengthen the weakened area of the abdominal wall. This helps prevent the hernia from recurring.

What are the benefits?

A laparoscopic hernia repair may allow you to recover faster and have less pain than traditional surgery. Another benefit is that hernias on both groins and at the belly button (umbilicus) can all be treated at the same time. You can usually go home the same of the surgery.

What are the risk?

Possible risks are:

  • Infection.
  • Bleeding into the belly
  • Injury to nearby structures.
  • Return of the hernia

The risks are decreased as compared to traditional surgery as smaller incisions are used.

Should I do anything special to prepare for surgery?

There is no special preparation. The night before the surgery, do no eat or drink anything after midnight. Do not smoke, chew tobacco, or gum the morning of surgery. You will be contacted as to what time to arrive at the hospital the day of the surgery. Have someone drive you to and from the hospital. You will not be able to drive yourself home or take a bus or cab.

What should I expect after surgery?

You will go home the same day of your surgery for smaller size hernias repairs. Larger hernia repairs usually require a short stay in the hospital. You can return to work and your normal routine in one to two weeks. You should avoid heavy lifting for a few weeks after your surgery. This will allow the repair to heal.