A hernia is a defect in the abdominal wall that occurs when an internal organ protrudes through a weakened area of muscle, triggering pain and discomfort. GI Surgical Specialists uses laparoscopic and single incision techniques to repair hernias in Naples and Ft. Myers.
Hernias develop for a number of reasons. While for some a hernia is a birth defect as a result of a weakened abdominal muscle, others may develop a hernia due to obesity, heavy lifting or chronic coughing.
There are four types of hernias:
- Hiatal Hernia: A hiatal hernia occurs when the top part of the stomach passes through the diaphragm. Often, a hiatal hernia causes acid reflux disease and may be repaired during surgery for GERD (gastroesopghageal reflux disease), like Nissen Fundoplication.
- Inguinal Hernia: An inguinal hernia occurs when a part of the intestine or internal body fat pushes through the opening in the abdominal wall of the groin, or inguinal canal. This is the most common type of hernia and can be repaired with single incision surgery.
- Umbilical Hernia: Most commonly found in infants, obese adults and women who have had multiple pregnancies, this type of abdominal hernia occurs when part of the intestine pushes through the abdominal wall below the belly button.
- Incisional Hernia: An incisional hernia develops as a result of a past surgical procedure. Considered a type of abdominal hernia, this type of hernia generally forms at the incision site, previous drain site or laparoscopic insertion site. Approximately four to ten percent of traditional open surgery patients report having developed an incisional hernia after their procedures.
If a hernia develops on the anterior abdominal wall it is considered a ventral hernia. Ventral hernias are often considered abdominal hernias and are generally either congenital (umbilical hernia) or acquired (incisional hernia).
Laparoscopic Hernia Repair Surgery
During laparoscopic hernia repair, your surgeon will insert a laparoscope, a thin, flexible tube equipped with a light and camera, as well as other surgical tools, through minor incisions in the abdomen. Unlike traditional open surgical methods that require one large abdominal incision, your surgeon will be able to perform the hernia repair by watching the laparoscope’s projected internal abdominal views on a monitor within the operating room.
To repair the hernia your surgeon will return the protruding tissue into its proper place and reinforce the weakened abdominal muscle with synthetic mesh to prohibit further protrusion. The synthetic mesh provides a flexible, durable surface that promotes regrowth of healthy tissue in addition to reinforcing the weakened muscle area.
Even after surgical repair, hernias do exhibit a small risk of reoccurrence. Likelihood of hernia reoccurrence differs according to the placement and type of hernia repaired. Your surgeon will discuss with you the reoccurrence risk associated with your individual hernia repair operation, and what actions you can take to prevent a hernia from developing again.