Is Hernia Repair Considered a Major Surgery?
When you have a hernia, fatty tissue or an organ pushes through weakened areas in the muscles or fascia that surround it. You can develop a hernia in different parts of your body, but a few of the most common areas are the upper stomach, inner groin and outer groin. While some hernias produce no symptoms, others can cause considerable discomfort. If you have a hernia that is large or causes you pain, you might be a good candidate for hernia repair.
Open Surgery vs. Minimally Invasive Surgery
Hernia repair can be done through open surgery or minimally invasive surgery. Open surgery involves making a larger incision in order to directly access the hernia, while minimally invasive surgery involves making smaller incisions and using tiny instruments to perform the repair with the help of a laparoscope. Surgeons use laparoscopes to see the hernia and the area around it.
The type of surgery that would work best for you depends on the size of your hernia, where it is located and whether or not it is a unilateral or bilateral hernia. Unilateral hernias affect one side of the body, while bilateral hernias affect both sides. Open surgery can be done for all hernias, while minimally invasive procedures might not be suitable for larger hernias or ones that have been around for a long time.
What to Expect from Minimally Invasive Hernia Repair
When you undergo minimally invasive hernia repair, you’ll first be given general anesthesia. After this, small incisions are made around the hernia, and a laparoscope and tiny instruments are lowered through them. Surgeons move the laparoscope and instruments around in order to repair the hernia. This type of procedure is considered an ambulatory one, which means you do not have to spend time in a hospital recovering before going home. In fact, you should be able to go home a few hours after your surgery. Recovery usually takes up to two weeks.
What to Expect from Open Surgery
When you undergo open surgery, keep in mind that this is considered a major surgery. You will have local anesthesia administered at the surgical site, as well as sedation if needed. After this is done, a large incision is made in order to allow surgeons to reach the hernia. Surgeons perform the repair while being able to see the hernia directly. You’ll need to spend some time in the hospital under observation after open surgery in order to ensure that no complications have occurred. Recovery time can take up to six weeks.
Complications and Risks with Open Surgery
Open surgery comes with certain risks and potential complications. This is due to the fact that this type of surgery involves a greater amount of cutting through tissue compared to minimally invasive hernia repair. Some of the potential complications and risks with open surgery include infections, bleeding, muscle damage or damage to other tissue in the area, nerve damage and organ damage. Minimally invasive hernia repair does not involve as much cutting, so there is a much lower risk of damage to tissue, muscle, organs and nerves.
If you need hernia repair, please contact Dr. Mark Reiner for an appointment. Dr. Reiner offers minimally invasive hernia repair to help ease your symptoms without the risks involved with open surgery. Fill out the form on this page to request an appointment or call 212.879.6677 to learn more.