How Is An Inguinal Hernia Surgery Performed?

Hernia can be explained as bulging or protrusion of an organ through a wall cavity inside it. Sometimes, organ can even shift from it’s original place. The bulged part of the organ is deprived of oxygen supply and hence, can prove fatal if it is not treated on emergency basis. Hernia can occur in any part of the body, abdominal hernia being one of the most common case.

Most probable causes of hernia are muscle weakness and strain. Muscle weakness can happen because of age, congenital or birth defect or damage caused to the organ due to injury or surgery. Hernia could also be result of persistent coughing and sneezing, pregnancy, sudden weight gain, lifting of heavy objects etc.

Hernia is divided into four categories- inguinal hernia (occurs inguinal region), hiatal hernia (generally occurs in people above the age of fifty and can be congenital), incision hernia (occurs in patients who have undergone abdominal surgery which has either left a small incision or made surrounding organ muscles weak. This enables the organ to push through weakened muscles) and umbilical hernia (occurs in infants under the age of six months). In this article, we will learn about inguinal hernia in detail and also understand how inguinal hernia surgery is carried out.

Inguinal hernia occurs more commonly in males than females. As mentioned before, this type of hernia occurs in inguinal region which is different for men and women. In woman, the region is round ligament of uterus and in men, it is front side or anterior of abdominal wall that lies near to spermatic cord. The work of holding testicles in it’s place is done by spermatic cord. Inguinal canal gets completely closed when men’s testicles descend through it within short span after birth. However, in some cases, canal remains incompletely closed and this causes weakening of it’s muscles and tissues. As a result, chances of hernia are increased. Inguinal hernia can be identified by it’s symptoms and through diagnostic tests such as screening tests. Some common signs of inguinal hernia are pain in lower abdominal region, lump in the pubic region, feeling of heaviness and aching sensation in the pubic region or lower abdominal region and weakness. To understand precise location of the bulge, X-ray is recommended.

Once the diagnostic tests confirms the patient is suffering form inguinal hernia and accurate location of bulge is found, surgery is performed to cure it. Treatment should not be delayed as the bulged region does not receive blood supply and this could prove to be life threatening.

How is inguinal hernia surgery performed?

There are two ways through which inguinal hernia repair surgery can be carried out- open surgery and laparoscopic surgery. Both these surgical techniques have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages.

Open inguinal hernia surgery-

​ Local anesthesia or regional anesthesia is administered to perform open inguinal hernia surgery. This will make lower abdominal region or the area that is to be operated numb. Sometimes, general anesthesia can also be administered depending upon duration of the surgery and intensity of the bulge.

​ A long, single incision is made in the groin region. Bulge is pushed back into it’s place if the hernia is bulging out through a cavity in the abdominal wall. But, if hernia has bulged out too much like it is going down through the inguinal canal, then in such case, the hernia may be removed or pushed back.

​ Through the incision made, surgeon is able to access hernia and separate it from surrounding tissues. Then the hernia sac may either be removed or pushed back into the abdomen in it’s original place.

​ The weak spot of muscles through which hernia had initially bulged is then strengthened with stitches. Healthy muscle tissues are sewn together so that there is no room for the organ to bulge again.

​ Now-a-days mesh patches made up of synthetic material are used to repair hernia. This procedure is known as hernioplasty. After hernia is pushed back in it’s original place, mesh patches are sewn over weak areas of abdominal wall in order to reduce risk of recurrence of hernia and provide strength to weak part of abdominal wall.

​ The cuts are then closed using stitches. The stitches will dissolve or heal on their own after few days of surgery. Patient may be required to stay in hospital for few days so that doctors can monitor recovery of the patient.

It takes around 3 weeks for complete recovery and during this period, refrain from doing any activity or movements that cause pain in the operated area. One can return to strenuous exercises only after a period of one month after taking permission from your doctor. Patient can drive after period of two weeks when pain in groin region fades away. Sexual intercourse is also not allowed for 3 weeks post inguinal hernia repair operation.

Laparoscopic inguinal hernia surgery-

  • Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive type of surgery which makes use of an instrument called as laparoscope. In this procedure as well, either general or local anesthesia is administered.
  • Inflation of abdomen is done with air so that surgeons are able to view abdominal organs.
  •  Instead of one large incision, two to four small incisions are made on various sections of abdomen through which laparoscope is inserted. Laparosope is a thin tube and attached to one of it’s end is light and camera.
  • With help of this camera, light and miniaturized equipments, surgeons are able to perform the surgery. Mesh made up of synthetic material is placed over the weakened portion of abdominal wall through which organ had bulged. This mesh provides strength to the abdominal wall and reduces chances of hernia recurrence.

Laparoscopic surgery is also called as keyhole surgery. Recovery period lasts for around one or two weeks. During this period, patients is refrained from performing any heavy physical activity. Avoid body movements that cause pain in the operated area. As compared to open surgery, laparoscopic surgery takes less time and recovery period is also reduced. However, one should always get laparoscopic surgery done only from expert laparoscopic surgeons so that complications are reduced.

Hernia does not get cured by medications. Surgery is the only treatment option for hernia.

You can find the list of cities in India that provide ingunal hernia surgery along with their respective prices Here

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