What are the Treatment Options?
Surgical repair is the only option for treating hernia. Your doctor may choose to avoid surgery for a while if the hernia does not cause any pain or discomfort. However, if left untreated for a long time, it may have a risk of enlarging and becoming strangulated (trapped), which may require emergency surgical repair, or may increase the complications of late surgery. Your surgeon may follow different approaches to repair your hernia. The two basic steps for any surgical hernia repair include:
- Pushing back the bulge to its original position inside the abdominal cavity
- Closing the opening from where the hernia had protruded
Your surgeon will perform either an open or a laparoscopic surgery based on which procedure is suitable for your condition.
Open hernia repair:This procedure is performed under local or general anaesthesia. Your surgeon will make a large incision on the abdomen and manually push the bulge back into place. This is followed by repair of the hernia as described below.
Laparoscopic hernia repair: Laparoscopy will be performed under general anaesthesia. Your surgeon will make several small incisions on the abdominal wall and insert a laparoscope (instrument with a lighted device and a camera) through one of the incisions and surgical instruments through the others. Carbon dioxide gas will be inflated into your abdominal cavity which will make it easier for the surgeon to view the organs and perform the procedure.
Your surgeon will then perform either hernioplasty or herniorrhaphy depending on the damage.
- Hernioplasty: This technique is preferred in cases of complete damage and rupture of the abdominal wall. After the internal organs are put back in place, your surgeon will stitch a sterile synthetic mesh over the weak area and to the abdominal wall, for support.
- Herniorrhaphy: This technique is preferred when the intestinal contents leak due to a torn abdominal wall. Your surgeon will stitch the edges of healthy tissue of the abdominal wall together after putting the bulge back in its place.