How is laparoscopic hernia repair performed?
Laparoscopic surgery uses a thin, telescope-like instrument known as an endoscope which is inserted through a small incision at the umbilicus (belly button). Usually, this procedure is performed under general anesthesia. This requires an evaluation of your general state of health, including a history and physical exam, possibly including labwork and EKG. You will not feel pain during this surgery. The endoscope is connected to a tiny video camera – smaller than a dime – which projects an “inside view” of the patient’s body onto television screens in the operating room. The abdomen is inflated with a harmless gas (carbon dioxide) to allow your doctor to view your internal structures. The peritoneum (the inner lining of your abdomen) is cut to expose the weakness in the abdominal wall. A mesh patch is attached to secure the weak area under the peritoneum. The peritoneum is then stapled or sutured closed. Following the procedure, the small abdominal incisions are closed with a stitch or two or with surgical tape. Within a few months, the incision is barely visible.
Benefits of laparoscopic hernia surgery:
- Three tiny scars rather than one larger incision.
- Reduced postoperative pain
- Faster return to work
- Shorter recovery time and earlier resumption of daily activities (a recovery time of days instead of weeks)