Laparoscopic Incisional Hernia Repair
This page will provide you with information about a laparoscopic incisional hernia repair – day case. For further details, please speak to your consultant.
What is an incisional hernia?
This type of hernia develops from a previous procedure. It will occur where there is a weak spot in an area of the abdominal wall where an earlier incision has been made.
If this happens, your surgeon may recommend a hernia operation, although it will be your decision if you wish to proceed with one. Here you will find key information about the benefits and risks that come with the operation, but you must talk to your surgeon or healthcare team if you have any questions that are not answered here.
Figure 1 – An incisional hernia
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What are the alternatives to surgery?
Without a surgical procedure the hernia will not get better. You can control the hernia with supportive clothing but this will not solve the problem. The only effective way of curing the condition is by surgery.
If a hernia is not treated, it can become a strangulated hernia, which is much more serious. The blood supply to the intestines or inner structures can be cut off, and if this occurs, an urgent operation is needed. This procedure carries a greater risk of serious complications developing.
What will happen during the operation?
The operation will be performed as a day case by your surgeon under a general anaesthetic, and will take one to two hours, although it may be that you have a local anaesthetic administered to reduce pain once the surgery ends. You may also get antibiotics during the procedure to reduce the risk of infection. During the procedure, the surgeon will use keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery, and the benefits of this are as follows:
- less pain
- less scarring
- faster return to your usual activities
The surgeon will make a small incision on your belly button (umbilicous), so they can insert an instrument into the abdominal cavity. Once the instrument is correctly placed, it will inflate the cavity with carbon dioxide. The surgeon then inserts small tubes (ports) into the abdomen through further incisions to your abdomen. A telescope and other surgical instruments are inserted through the ports, allowing the surgeon to see inside the abdomen.
When the inner structures that are held up in the hernia are released, the weak abdominal area is covered with a synthetic mesh. In some instances it will not be possible for the surgeon to carry out the operation using keyhole surgery, so they will change to open surgery, where a larger incision is made at the same site as your scar.
Risks and complications
Any risks or complications will be discussed in advance of your treatment with your expert consultant.
Most people can return home on the same day following the operation. If you have been given medication/ special stockings to reduce the risk of blood clots, follow the instructions of the healthcare team. Gradually increase the amount you move and walk around in the first few days. Exercising regularly should help you to recover faster from the operation, but check with your GP before you start an exercise plan.
You may be advised not to undertake any manual work for a while, and to avoid lifting heavy objects for the first six weeks. You will also be advised when you can return to work.
Do not operate a vehicle or drive until you are confident that you are in control of the vehicle.
EIDO Healthcare Limited – The operation and treatment information on this page is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Aspen Healthcare.
The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.