Laparoscopic or Open Hernia Repair Surgery?
A hernia can appear in several areas of the abdomen, and the treatment changes according to the location and severity. When can we repair it through a laparoscopic procedure and when is an open surgery, which requires a longer recovery period necessary?
If in the past, certain surgeries were considered risky and complicated as a treatment to hernia, today, with the advancements in the field of medicine they became safer to use procedures with high success rates.
What is a Hernia?
A hernia is a hole in the abdomen wall, sometimes in the front wall, which looks domed when defected. Behind the abdomen wall, there are internal organs, which cannot stay in their place, for the lack of support. The hernia can be caused due to a congenital or acquired local weakness.
Umbilical hernia - a hernia in the naval area, where a baby was attached to his mother while staying is her uterus. The mother's umbilical cord enters the fetus’s belly and creates a hole in it, which closes after birth but leaves the area relatively weak. sometimes the baby is born with an umbilical hernia, and in other cases it develops later due to this weakness.
Inguinal hernia - the groin area is also known for its weakness. In a body of a male fetus, the testicles drop from the abdomen to the scrotum through an opening, which closes after birth, but remains a weak spot. For females, the strap holds the uterus in its place that is potentially vulnerable to a hernia.
Diaphragmatic hernia - another common hernia occurs in the diaphragm area, and is sometimes caused from a congenital defect.
There are several, less common, types of hernias, caused by different reasons, like previous surgical interventions in the abdomen area, which weakens the abdomen walls and can eventually cause a tear.
Hernia Repair Surgery - Open or Laparoscopic?
In the past, repairing a hernia was similar to repairing a hole in an item of clothing - the hole was sewn together with a needle and thread. This proved to be counterproductive, and eventually created more pressure on the abdomen, and worsen the condition after surgery.
Later on, surgeons developed a method through which the gash is patched instead of sewn. The patch is a net, made from either a biological or a synthetic material, inserted into the body and covering the hernia, preventing the inner organs from moving from their place. The main difference between the laparoscopic methods to the open method is the way the net is inserted and located inside the body.
The open method is conducted through a deep incision in the hernia area, through which the surgeon can operate. The laparoscopic method, however, is minimally invasive, and is conducted through several small incisions in the area of the hernia, through which small working tools and a camera are inserted.
The minimal approach allows a shorter recovery time and a more esthetic result, and is the preferred approach by many patients and surgeons. However, it is not suitable to evert condition. In cases of multiple or especially big hernias, the open method is preferable. The surgeon's experience will also play a significant role in deciding whether a minimally invasive surgery is appropriate or not.