Hernia repair is a surgery to repair a hernia. A hernia is a break in the tissue that keeps your muscles in place. Because of a tear in the tissue, the intestines or other abdominal tissues can push through and get caught in a bulge. Hernias cannot heal themselves and can be potentially life threatening, which is why they must be repaired through surgery.
Hernias can be caused by a number of factors, including aging, injuries, genetic predisposition or old incisions. One of the most common causes is heavy strain on the abdominal area. This can be caused by lifting weights, straining when moving your bowels or even coughing too much.
In most cases, you should be able to physically see and feel a hernia under your skin. Because part of the intestine has leaked through the abdominal wall, you may notice a bulge in your skin. Additionally, hernias are typically very painful. This pain is exacerbated when coughing, using the bathroom, lifting heavy items or when standing or sitting for too long.
The two types of hernia repair are open inguinal hernia repair and laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair. During an open repair, an incision about 3 to 6 inches long is made in the abdomen, and the healthy tissue surrounding the hernia is sewn back in place. This is an older method that is not used as much today because it is so invasive.
Laparoscopic hernia repair is much less invasive and involves uses a tiny camera through a tube that has been inserted into the abdomen. The surgeon can then repair the area using several small incisions as well as a layer of mesh secured with staples or sutures to hold the hernia closed. The mesh helps the area heal better, and patients who use this method have a much lower rate of recurrence.
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