You’ve been diagnosed with a hernia. A noticeable lump and/or pain in your groin, abdomen, or stomach sent you to the doctor. Your physician at Desert West Surgery explains that internal tissue or even an organ has broken through an opening in a weak muscular wall that keeps your body parts in place.
Your physician tells you that the hernia won’t go away and can’t be treated by medication. When the pain interferes with daily life, it’s time for surgery. Hernia operations are common; over a million are performed in the U.S. every year.
There are several types of hernias. The inguinal hernia is the most common, accounting for 8 in 10 hernia operations in the U.S. annually. It results from a weak area in the groin or in the male scrotum, causing part of the small intestine or tissue to pop through the muscular wall.
Your Desert West surgeon discusses your particular type of hernia and explains the procedure they use to produce the best surgical outcome. You’ll have an open approach surgery with one larger incision, or if you qualify, one of two types of a minimally invasive surgery, in which the surgeon uses a few small incisions.
Open approach surgery
If your hernia is large, if you have more than one, or if you’ve had previous surgery that has produced adhesions in the area of the hernia, a minimally invasive procedure may not be possible.
During an open approach, one 4- to 6-inch cut exposes the surgical area. Your surgeon uses hand-held tools to move the affected parts back into proper position. A strong mesh material helps anchor everything in place. The mesh is usually constructed of synthetic material. It provides extra support for weak tissue that could break open again. During the past several decades, mesh has proved to be superior to sutures in producing better outcomes for hernia repairs.
In the open surgical approach, the incision is simply larger than in minimally invasive surgery to allow a view of the affected area. If you have problems with general anesthesia, it’s good to know that open surgery can also be performed with local or spinal anesthesia.
Minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery
Surgeons at Desert West Surgery use minimally invasive procedures whenever possible because they produce quicker recoveries, minimal scarring, and reduced chances of infection.
You’re under general anesthesia for laparoscopic surgery. It involves a few half-inch incisions. The body opening is then inflated with carbon dioxide so that your doctor has room to operate.
Your Desert West board-certified surgeon repairs the hernia with the aid of a special device called a laparoscope that’s inserted into one of the tiny incisions at the beginning of the surgery. The device contains a tiny but powerful camera along with a strong light projected through a tiny tube. Your surgeon views the area on a video screen where the image is greatly enlarged.
The doctor inserts the instruments he uses to repair the hernia through another small incision. Using the powerful camera to view the area, your surgeon moves the protruding body part back into place and places mesh to provide the necessary support if needed.
The laparoscope permits your surgeon to view a greatly enlarged area of your abdomen, stomach, or groin so they can identify not only the hernia but also other areas where the tissue in the muscular wall may be weak. Your physician can then place mesh in these additional weak spots to help prevent a future hernia.
Minimally invasive robot-assisted surgery
Surgeons can perform robotic surgery with the da Vinci® Surgical System for several types of hernia repair, including (1) inguinal hernias and (2) ventral hernias: hernias near your belly button (umbilical), above your belly button (epigastric), or at a previous surgical site (incisional). Your surgeon lets you know if you’re a good candidate for this type of procedure.
During the operation, your surgeon is at a console by your side and makes a few small incisions. They see a high-definition, 3D view of the affected area inside your body, thanks to the powerful da Vinci system camera. Looking at the 3D view, your doctor guides the misplaced organ or tissue back into proper position using tiny instruments. The robotic arm translates your doctor’s movements precisely, providing pinpoint accuracy during the surgery. Research indicates that robot-assisted surgery has lower rates of complication than open approach surgery.
For expert treatment during general, oncological, and colorectal surgery in Las Vegas, call the Desert West Surgery location most convenient to you.