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How Hernia Repair with Surgical Mesh Works
Studies show hernia mesh can prevent hernias from coming back. Recurrence is one of the biggest problems with hernia repair. Surgical mesh acts as a flexible scaffold in hernia repair. It can reinforce muscle walls and prevent organs from coming through. This can prevent the condition from worsening. General surgeons or urologists generally perform hernia surgeries.
Surgeons place the mesh over the open hernia. They use sutures, tacks or surgical glue to hold the mesh in place. Over time, the patient’s tissue should grow into the small pores in the mesh and strengthen the muscle wall. This creates scar tissue that strengthens the hernia site. Most mesh repairs are permanent, meaning the implant remains in the body for the rest of the patient’s life.
There are two types of surgery to implant hernia mesh: laparoscopic repair and open repair.
This is minimally invasive surgery. It is always done under general anesthesia. The surgeon makes several small incisions. He then inserts surgical tools through the openings to implant and secure the mesh. This procedure allows for a shorter healing time and less blood loss. But it is more challenging to perform and costs more. Surgeons also use laparoscopic repair to fix hernia recurrences. It avoids old scar tissue. Recovery time is one to two weeks. Strenuous exercise is generally allowed after about four weeks.
Surgeons use this procedure with or without surgical mesh. Most open hernia repairs use general anesthesia. But surgeons may instead use spinal or local anesthesia accompanied by sedation. The surgeon makes an incision near the hernia to repair the weak muscle area. Recovery time is about three weeks. Strenuous exercise is generally allowed after six weeks.
An inguinal hernia occurs in the groin and is named for its location, as hernia contents protrude through the inguinal canal. Most commonly, symptoms of bulging, pain, and discomfort are noticed after doing activity throughout the day, then improve when laying down. Increased use of the abdominal wall can worsen symptoms.
There are two basic ways to repair inguinal (groin) hernias. One is the open technique in which a 3-4 inch incision is made over the groin. The other technique is with a “Minimally Invasive” technique in which small incisions (1/4 inch) are made in the abdominal wall and a Laparoscope (small camera) is inserted.
Recent studies have shown that both operations are good, safe and reliable operations. Both have low chances that the hernia will recur. The main difference between an Open operation and a Laparoscopic operation is that the Open operation is more painful and is associated with a longer return to work or full activity.
This type of hernias develop anywhere above the midline Umbilicus. They may be small or large. Fat behind the Rectus Muscles called “Preperitoneal fat” may enter the hernia hole. As the hole enlarges, fat from the intestines or intestines may enter. Patients may also develop abdominal bloating after eating. In severe cases, the skin over the hernia may become red and tender. This means that the underlying fat or intestines are being strangled and should immediately be treated or severe complications may develop.
This type of hernias can develop and any time during your lifetime. Women usually develop Umbilical hernias during pregnancy. Men develop them during infancy or adulthood. A bulging mass in the Umbilicus may developed while lifting, coughing or straining. A small hole develops between the Rectus Muscle. Usually abdominal fat behind the muscle protrudes into the hole. Later, fat from the Intestines can protrude through the hole. With time, simple coughing can push more fat through the hole and it stretches. With the hernia defect widening, Intestines can enter the hole.
Pain may develop from the hernia which can feel like “pinching, burning, and tearing”. Patients may also develop abdominal bloating after eating. In severe cases, the skin over the hernia may become red and tender. This means that the underlying fat or intestines are being strangled and should immediately be treated or severe complications may develop.
Incisional Hernias are holes that develops after any abdominal operation. These hernias can appear at the site of a previous surgery weeks, months, or even years later. They can vary in size from small to very large and complex. One incisional hernia may develop or many (Swiss cheese) hernia holes may develop. Studies have shown that 36% of all abdominal incisions later develop hernias. Examples of these are patients who have undergone Gallbladder, Colon, small Bowel, Weight loss, Stomach, Appendectomies, Prostatic, Vascular, Spleen, Hysterectomies, Ovarian, Bladder and Trauma operations.
Much more common in women, but can occur in men. These hernias appear just below your groin crease and are usually the result of pregnancy and childbirth. A weakness in the lower groin allows an intestinal sac to drop into the femoral canal, a space near the femoral vein that carries blood from your leg. These hernias are more prone to develop incarceration or strangulation as an early complication than are inguinal hernias. Therefore, early repair once these hernias are diagnosed is very strongly advised before such complications occur.
Hiatal hernias are not located on the abdominal wall, but rather on the inside of the abdomen where the esophagus meets the stomach. The “hiatus” refers to the opening in the diaphragm where the esophagus passes through from the chest into the abdomen and empties into the stomach.
When this opening becomes larger than normal and the stomach slides up into the chest, a hiatal hernia is present. Symptoms often include heartburn, reflux, regurgitation, and a feeling that food gets stuck in the lower part of the chest or upper abdomen and does not pass through easily.