Adult hernias will never resolve on their own and surgery may be the only way to repair the affected area. In some cases, watchful waiting may be used for a small hernia. But in many cases a hernia may worsen, becoming more difficult to repair as it enlarges. The larger the hernia, the more likely surgical mesh will be needed to reinforce the repair and lower the risk of a future recurrence.
If surgery is the best option, it is best to make sure you visit a specialized hernia surgeon.
The surgeon will suggest the best approach to repair the hernia and how to get you back to activity as soon as possible. Considerations will relate to how to lower the risk of a recurrence of a hernia after surgery.
If an adult has an hernia, surgery is often recommended because the hernia will not get better, and will typically get worse over time, making the surgical repair of the hernia more difficult.
If a hernia requires surgical intervention, there is the old ‘Open Method’ and the new ‘Minimally Invasive Laparoscopic Method’, both of which will fix the hernia depending on the patient’s individual case. Hernias can be repaired with either open or laparoscopic surgery.
A cut is made into the location of the hernia and the protruding tissue is pushed back in the proper place. Then the weakened abdominal muscle wall is stitched back together, sometimes with mesh implanted inside the area to provide extra support. Open surgery requires a longer recovery process.
Minimally Invasive Surgery (laparoscopic and robotic surgery)
Very small incisions are made to allow for the insertion of a tiny camera and miniaturized surgical equipment to repair the hernia using only a few small incisions to complete the procedure. This surgery involves the same type of repairs as the ‘open surgery’ except the wound is much smaller, the patient heals faster, and less chance of infection post operation. Laparoscopic surgery is less damaging to the surrounding tissue than traditional ‘open surgery’.
Not all hernias are suitable for laparoscopic repair.
A skilled surgeon will evaluate your unique condition to determine the most appropriate surgical technique, using evidence-based knowledge to provide the highest likelihood of longterm success with the least pain, recovery time, and expense.