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Hernia Repair Has Never Been Simpler Thanks to Laparoscopic and Robotic-Assisted Surgery

To learn more about the benefits of laparoscopic hernia repair or simply find out if you’re a suitable candidate, call our So

You were probably a bit concerned when you first spotted the abnormal bump on one side of your public bone. But chances are your worry really took hold when that bulge got bigger or began feeling tender or heavy.   

If you’re like most people, it was the sharp, shooting pain in your groin every time you coughed, bent over, or lifted something heavy that got you in to see your primary care doctor, who was almost certainly able to diagnose your inguinal hernia pretty quickly. 

A hernia occurs when some type of tissue — typically part of the small intestines or a bit of underlying abdominal fat — pushes through a hole or a weak spot in the overlying layer of muscle and connective tissue. Even though a hernia can emerge virtually anywhere along your abdominal wall, they often appear in the lowest part of the abdomen in the groin.

Also known as an inguinal hernia, this common form of tissue protrusion can’t heal by itself. And if it’s bothersome, causing complications, or appears to be growing, surgery is virtually always the best solution. 

Let’s explore what makes laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair different from conventional open surgery, and what kind of benefits this groundbreaking method has to offer. 

Hernia repair basics

Hernia repair is among the most frequently performed surgeries in the United States today, accounting for more than a million procedures each year. About 80% of those procedures — or a full 4 out of 5 hernia repair operations — are done to correct an inguinal hernia.  

In most inguinal hernia repair procedures, the protrusion is corrected with surgical mesh, a biocompatible implant that helps strengthen the abdominal wall and reduces the risk of recurrence. 

Although it’s possible to repair some inguinal hernias with internal sutures, surgical mesh is associated with reduced operative time, minimized recovery time, and overall improved patient outcomes.   

Surgical repair options

Inguinal hernias are usually repaired in one of two ways — via conventional open surgery or using advanced laparoscopic techniques. 

Open hernia repair

Performed with the aid of general anesthesia or a combination of local anesthesia and sedation, open hernia repair is a traditional surgical method that requires a standard-sized incision in your groin, close to the area of bulging tissue.  

Once your surgeon can visualize your abdominal wall and the hernia itself, they can carefully push the protruding tissue back into place and reinforce the weakened area with surgical mesh. If synthetic mesh isn’t an ideal option for you, they’ll use internal sutures to complete the repair. 

Afterward, your incision is closed with stitches, staples, or surgical glue. Although it’s important to move as much as possible in the days and weeks following open hernia repair, it’s also important to avoid strenuous activities for at least two to four weeks as your body recovers. 

Laparoscopic 

Luckily, ongoing advancements in minimally invasive surgical techniques have made it possible to perform most inguinal hernia repair procedures laparoscopically, using a series of half-inch incisions, specialized small-scale surgical instruments, and a tiny high-definition camera to get the job done without causing unnecessary trauma to surrounding tissues. 

Laparoscopic hernia repair uses several small incisions around the affected area. Although these incisions are too small to provide a typical “open” view, we’re able to achieve optimal visual assistance by inserting a tiny laparoscopic camera through one of the incisions. 

By relaying a magnified, high-resolution, 2D view of your abdominal wall, the hernia, and other nearby structures to a high-definition monitor, this special camera allows us to perform inguinal hernia repair with an exceptionally high degree of precision. 

Once the repair is complete, the incisions are closed with a bit of surgical tape or a couple of stitches. Within a few months, any residual scars should barely be visible.

Compared to open hernia repair, laparoscopic or robotic-assisted procedure feels more like an outpatient procedure than major surgery. Even better, you can expect a much shorter hospital stay, a faster recovery, and a quicker return to normal activities.  

Robotic-assisted hernia repair

Dr. Klause often performs hernia repairs via robotic-assistance. As with laparoscopic surgery, robotic-assisted surgery is minimally-invasive, utilizing a laparoscope, small incisions, and a tiny camera (in this case a 3D camera) that projects the surgical field onto a TV monitor. The difference is that with robotic-assisted surgery, Dr. Klause sits nearby the patient behind a console. From the console, she directs robotic arms that are affixed with special surgical instruments to repair the hernia. Robotic-assistance allows for greater flexibility and precision because the robotic arms can maneuver in ways and positions that a human hand can’t. 

Personalized care you can trust

If you have a problematic inguinal hernia in need of repair, laparoscopic surgery may be more than just a viable option — it may be your best option. 

To learn more about the benefits of laparoscopic hernia repair or simply find out if you’re a suitable candidate, call our South Orange County office in San Clemente, California, or use the easy online tool to schedule an appointment with Dr. Klause. 

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