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Minimally Invasive and Modern: Robotic and Laparoscopic Hernia Surgery
Hernia Repair Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Hernia?
A hernia is the medical term used to describe an abnormal opening in the abdominal cavity and is generally applied to two scenarios.
A hole or defect in an area where there should be intact strong tissue, such as the muscles and fascia of the abdominal wall. An unusually wide opening where there is normally supposed to be a narrow opening, such as in the diaphragm or the pelvis.
The normal pressure inside the abdomen is higher than what is seen in the chest or outside the body, so hernia defects, when present, allow things like a loop of bowel or a piece of omentum (the fatty apron which hangs down from the midportion of the colon) to protrude or “herniate” from inside to locations outside the abdominal cavity. When that occurs the hernia is experienced as a lump under the skin.
What Causes a Hernia to Develop?
There’s a variety of reasons for a hernia to occur. In fact, hernias can even be present at birth if there was abnormal development of the abdominal wall. Hernias can also develop over time in areas of weakness or from excessively high pressures. Some of following conditions are frequently associated with hernias:
- Lifting excess weight
- Straining for bowel movement or urination
- Chronic coughing
- Trauma to abdomen
The cause and location of the hernia will determine how the hernia is categorized and how to proceed when treating the condition.
How Does Hernia Surgery Help?
The only effective treatment for abdominal hernias is surgery, and healthy patients can typically expect good outcomes. The surgery will be performed laparoscopically, which means the surgeon will use special instruments and a camera inserted into the abdominal cavity through tiny incisions. Avoiding a large cut to access and repair the defect makes laparoscopic hernia repair minimally invasive, and it requires less downtime than traditional open procedures. The laparoscopic procedure typically utilizes a mesh to strengthen the weak tissue that resulted in the hernia development. This reinforces the repair and reduces the risk of the hernia re-occurring.
Details of the hernia repair will depend on the type of hernia being treated and the severity of the condition. Because these factors are so individual to each patient and to each hernia, specific questions are best answered during an in-office consultation. At that time, questions regarding the length of the procedure, recovery time frame, and post-surgical instructions can be addressed.
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