15 February 2020
My doctor has told me I have a hernia, which may be repaired laparoscopically. What does this mean?
A hernia is a small lump that occurs when some of the contents of the abdomen (such as part of the intestine) push through a weakness in the abdominal wall. This can be due to persistent coughing, heavy lifting or straining on the toilet. Hernias have often been present for a long time without symptoms, but become more noticeable over time.
Usually they cause a groin lump, causing a dull discomfort. If the hernia becomes stuck then it may suddenly become very painful and need an emergency operation. So if the lump is causing some discomfort, it’s best to get it repaired.
Your doctor has suggested laparoscopic repair (also known as keyhole surgery) because it is the most commonly performed method of repairing a hernia. It is performed while the patient is asleep by making two or three small cuts on the abdomen, through which a tube-like camera is passed to enable your surgeon to view the hernia. It is then repaired and a synthetic mesh is used to strengthen the abdominal wall. The advantages of keyhole hernia surgery are that the patient may experience less pain and recovers more quickly, allowing them to return to normal activities and everyday life far sooner than traditional methods. It also has less risk of infection as the wounds are smaller.
All surgery carries an element of risk, but these are rare when performed by an expert surgeon. There has been some media coverage about the mesh being unsafe, but the British Hernia Society and international authorities on hernia repair strongly recommend the use of a synthetic mesh for a durable hernia repair. The safety of mesh in this context is well proven.
For further information on hernia repairs arrange an appointment with your GP, or call 01603 255614 to make a private appointment with Mr Bhaskar Kumar.
The content of this page is provided for general information only. It should not be treated as a substitute for the professional medical advice of your doctor or other healthcare professionals.