More than a million hernia repairs are performed each year in the United States, making it one of the most common surgeries in the country. Over the years, the approach to hernia repair has evolved, and today, there are several methods for repairing hernias depending on where they’re located and other factors.
Our team at South Florida Surgical Group understands that every patient’s needs are unique. We specialize in advanced hernia repair techniques supporting a patient-centered approach for better outcomes. Here, we review four different approaches to hernia repair to help you feel more confident about your upcoming surgery.
1. Open surgery
Open surgery is sometimes referred to as traditional surgery, because it’s the technique that’s been used the longest. In open surgery, our surgeon makes one larger incision that’s used to access the entire treatment area.
Open surgery can be used for many types of hernias, but it’s most commonly used with inguinal hernias — hernias that occur in the lower abdominal wall near the groin. During open surgery, we locate the hernia and position it back inside your abdomen before closing the incision.
2. Laparoscopic surgery
Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive approach that uses very small incisions. The surgeon inserts an instrument called a laparoscope into one of the incisions. This scope contains a tiny video camera that sends images of the hernia back to a monitor. Our surgeon controls the instruments and performs the surgery while watching the monitor.
Because it uses small incisions, laparoscopic surgery is associated with faster recovery and a faster return to normal activities. Your scars will also be very tiny.
3. Robot-assisted surgery
Robot-assisted surgery is very similar to laparoscopic surgery, but in this approach, our surgeon sits at a special surgical console and controls the instruments right from the console. Robotic technology allows for very detailed, high-definition images of the surgical site, as well as extremely precise movements of the surgical instruments.
Like laparoscopic surgery, robot-assisted surgery comes with faster recovery times, a faster return to normal activities, and smaller scars than open surgery.
4. Mesh vs. no mesh
Today, most hernia repair surgeries use mesh inserts to help strengthen the tissue around the hernia. The purpose of the mesh is to prevent the hernia from recurring, but it may also improve recovery times. Mesh can be used with any of the three techniques listed above.
Surgical mesh is placed over the weak spot created by the hernia. Over time, the natural tissue fuses with the mesh, creating an area of scar tissue that helps prevent recurrence. Even though most repairs use mesh, it isn’t always the best choice. Your doctor will determine if mesh is an appropriate method for your hernia repair.
Learn more about hernia repair
Not all hernias require surgery. Some smaller, mild hernias are treated with regular monitoring to make sure the hernia doesn’t get worse.
To learn more about hernia management and repair, including which approach our team recommends for your optimal wellness, call or book an appointment at our Miami, Florida, practice today.