What is a hernia?
Hernias are very common and happen when an internal organ or tissue bulges through an abnormal opening in the abdomen or intestine. These abnormal openings are often referred to as ‘weak spots’ that cause gaps in the muscle layers.
Generally, hernias are most noticeable when you’re able to see or feel a lump/bulge. In some cases hernias can cause swelling, pain or have no symptoms at all. Depending on where the hernia is located, some symptoms can include heartburn, difficulty swallowing or coughing.
Types of Hernias
An epigastric hernia occurs in the upper abdomen at the midline.
A femoral hernia occurs just below the groin.
Hiatal hernia is when the area where the stomach and esophagus meet bulges up through the diaphragm into the chest cavity. In some cases, part of the stomach may bulge above the diaphragm. Stomach acid may move up into the esophagus and cause symptoms. The symptoms are often blamed on gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). You may only know about the hernia when it shows up on an X-ray taken for other reasons.
An indirect inguinal hernia occurs in the groin at the internal ring.
A direct inguinal hernia occurs in the groin near the internal ring.
An incisional hernia occurs at the site of a previous surgical cut (incision).
Types of Hernia Repair Surgery
TRADITIONAL HERNIA SURGERY
To make a traditional repair, a cut is made over the hernia. The muscle tissue around the weak area is then sewn together to fix the defect. The cut is closed with stitches, staples, surgical tape, or special glue. This method can be used to fix any type of hernia. Nontraditional surgery includes using mesh or laparoscopic surgery. These are not discussed here.
Robotic Hernia Repair (TAR)
Dr. Taylor was the first general surgeon to perform a transversus abdominis release (TAR) with robotic surgery in Tennessee.
Dr. Melvin and Dr. Taylor both perform complex hernia repairs, re-operative and recurrent hernia repairs, and “component separations” with the robotic approach. The robotic procedure adds reinforcement to the abdominal wall to prevent the recurrences or other hernias from developing, recovers the abdominal wall functionality, prevents the intra-abdominal organs from protruding through the abdominal wall and provides a cosmetically-pleasing appearance.
- quicker release from the hospital
- less pain
- faster return to normal activities
Robotic surgery has been demonstrated to have fewer complications for inguinal hernia surgery.
(Surgical Endoscopy 2017).
HERNIA SURGERY: PATCH REPAIR
Surgery treats a hernia by fixing the weakness in the belly (abdominal) wall. An incision is made so the surgeon has a direct view of the hernia. The repair is then done through this cut (open surgery). To fix the defect, special mesh materials are used to patch the weak area. They make a “tension-free repair.” Follow your healthcare provider’s advice on how to get ready for the procedure. You can often go home the same day as your surgery. In some cases, though, you may need to stay in the hospital overnight.
HAVING LAPAROSCOPIC GROIN HERNIA REPAIR: TAPP
A groin hernia is a bulge at a weak spot in the lower belly (abdominal) wall. Groin hernias are also called inguinal or femoral hernias. Tissue or organs may press into the weak spot. This may cause symptoms of discomfort or pain. If left untreated, a hernia can get worse and may lead to serious problems. Surgery can be done to repair a hernia.
HAVING LAPAROSCOPIC GROIN HERNIA REPAIR: TEP
A groin hernia is a bulge at a weak spot in the wall of the abdomen. Groin hernias are also called inguinal or femoral hernias. Tissue or organs may press into the weak spot. This may cause symptoms of discomfort or pain. If left untreated, a hernia can get worse and may lead to serious problems. Surgery can be done to repair a hernia.
You can often go home the same day as surgery. If you had surgery to fix a ventral or incisional hernia, you may need to stay in the hospital overnight. To speed healing, take an active role in your recovery. These tips can help.
You can get back to your normal routine as soon as you feel able, unless your healthcare provider gives you other instructions. Just take it easy and stick to these guidelines:
– Take short walks to improve circulation.
– Don’t do any heavy lifting for at least 2 weeks.
– Stay out of baths, hot tubs, and swimming pools for at least a week to protect your incisions.
– Ask your healthcare provider when you can drive and go back to work.
– You can have sex again when you feel ready.
Advanced Hernia Repair (TAR)
This robotic procedure adds reinforcement to the abdominal wall to prevent the recurrences or other hernias from developing, recovers the abdominal wall functionality, prevents the intra-abdominal organs from protruding through the abdominal wall and provides a cosmetically-pleasing appearance.
- quicker discharge
- less pain
- quicker return to normal activities
Find a Hernia Surgeon
If you’re looking for a hernia doctor near you (in Nashville or Middle Tennessee), schedule a consultation at The Surgical Clinic to meet with one of our board-certified general surgeons who provide henia repair surgery.