What is laparoscopic hernia surgery?

Dr. Michael A. Perez, MD
Colorectal Surgeon

Laparoscopic hernia surgery is a procedure in which a telescope attached to a camera is inserted through a small incision. Other small incisions are made in the abdomen. The hernia defect is reinforced with a mesh and secured in position with stitches or staples, depending on the preference of the surgeon. This technique is the same whether or not robotic assistance is employed.

A patient is a candidate for laparoscopic hernia repair if he or she is medically able to undergo the appropriate anesthesia. Also, the defect must be in an area that allows the surgeon to place the laparoscopic or robotic trocars in positions where repair is possible. In some very large hernias, the abdominal wall is distorted to such a degree that it is impossible to safely place laparoscopic instruments. Even in these cases the techniques learned with minimally invasive surgery can be applied to decrease the trauma of open repairs.

Laparoscopic surgery is any surgery done through very small incisions, called keyhole incisions.

A laparoscopic procedure is similar to an open procedure, but involves smaller incision sites. We're able to do the acts of the same dissection and operation, but with less of a wound, so it’s less traumatic.

For example, in an inguinal hernia, instead of making a big incision over the inguinal area, we use three to five millimeter incisions in the upper abdomen. We’re actually able to do the same operation as we did openly, but these small wounds mean less pain and discomfort afterwards.

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