‘What’s Up Doc’ is a health column in association with The Crawley Observer, which gives you the opportunity to ask questions regarding general health and wellbeing.
Answers are provided weekly from our specialist consultants at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital, Surrey. If it’s a long-standing illness or simply a worry which you would like to get off your mind then we would like to try to help.
This question appeared in The Crawley Observer on 15 August 2012, to readers across Surrey and Sussex. The question and answer is below, as it appeared in the newspaper.
“My GP has told me I have a small hernia that needs to be operated on. She told me I could have this done in a traditional way or by ‘key-hole’ surgery, but I’m not sure what the difference is and which would be best for me. Can anyone have a key-hole operation and what are the pros and cons?” Sandeep, Crawley
Mr Paras Jethwa, consultant general and laparoscopic surgeon, says, “Hi Sandeep, keyhole or laparoscopic hernia repairs are a comparatively new way of dealing with this very common problem and, can offer several well documented advantages over conventional open hernia repairs.
They are especially suitable for patients with recurrent hernias and for hernias on both sides (bilateral). Patients report less post-operative and usually have a faster return to normality. Elderly patients and those who have had previous major abdominal surgery are less likely to be able to have this type of operation. Keyhole surgery is always performed under general anaesthetic.
Recurrence rates are similar between the two methods but long-term discomfort is significantly less. Active patients and sportsmen find this method preferable and often are back to full fitness within weeks, hope this is helpful”.