What is a Inguinal Hernia?
Inguinal hernias happen when the abdomen wall has natural areas of potential weakness. Hernias can develop at these or other areas due to heavy strain on the abdominal wall, aging, injury, an old incision or a weakness present from birth. Anyone can develop a hernia at any age. Most hernias in children are congenital. In adults, a natural weakness or strain from heavy lifting, persistent coughing, difficulty with bowel movements or urination can cause the abdominal wall to weaken or separate.
What to expect:
During surgery to repair the hernia, the bulging tissue is pushed back in. Your abdominal wall is strengthened and supported with sutures (stitches), and sometimes mesh. This repair can be done with open or laparoscopic surgery. You and your surgeon can discuss which type of surgery is right for you.
Your surgeon will decide which kind of anesthesia you will receive:
- General anesthesia is medicine that keeps you asleep and pain-free.
- Regional anesthesia, which numbs you from the waist to your feet.
- Local anesthesia and medicine to relax you.
In open surgery:
- Your surgeon makes a cut near the hernia.
- The hernia is located and separated from the tissues around it. The hernia sac is removed or the hernia is gently pushed back into your abdomen.
- The surgeon then closes your weakened abdominal muscles with stitches.
- Often a piece of mesh is also sewn into place to strengthen your abdominal wall. This repairs the weakness in the wall of your abdomen.
- At the end of the repair, the cuts are stitched closed.
In laparoscopic surgery:
- The surgeon makes three to five small cuts in your lower belly.
- A medical device called a laparoscope is inserted through one of the cuts. The scope is a thin, lighted tube with a camera on the end. It lets the surgeon see inside your belly.
- Other tools are inserted through the other cuts. The surgeon uses these tools to repair the hernia.
- The same repair will be done as the repair in open surgery.
- At the end of the repair, the scope and other tools are removed. The cuts are stitched closed.