Dr. T. Varun Raju
The first reference to the laparoscopic treatment of abdominal wall incisional hernias was published in 1993.
Since then, the use of a laparoscopic route for managing abdominal wall defects has been justified by the advantages of avoiding large incisions and the placement of drainage tubes, a lower risk of postoperative wound and mesh infections, and infection of seromas (watery collection at surgical site). Furthermore, there are the benefits of a reduction in pain, shorter hospitalization and quicker return to normal activity after surgery.
Certain people have a congenital defect of their collagen tissue in the abdominal wall that may cause abnormally weak at the hernia tendency points. Risk factors for a ventral hernia include:
- History of previous hernias
- History of abdominal surgeries
- Family history of hernias
- Frequently lifting or pushing heavy objects
When tissue inside the hernia becomes stuck or trapped in abdominal hernia orifice, it can cause pain, nausea, vomiting and constipation.
In rare cases, this may lead to a potentially life-threatening condition known as “strangulation,” which requires emergency surgery. This occurs when the blood supply to the herniated bowel is cut off or greatly reduced, causing the bowel tissue to die or rupture. Other symptoms of a strangulated hernia include severe abdominal pain, profuse sweating, rapid heartbeat, severe nausea, vomiting and high fever.
In this approach, surgeons use a laparoscope, a tiny telescope with a television camera attached, to view the hernia from the inside. The laparoscope is placed inside a cannula, or small, hollow tube, which is inserted into the abdomen through a small incision.
Benefits of laparoscopic ventral hernia repair include the following:
- Much smaller cut site, which lowers chance of infection
- Reduced postoperative pain
- Reduced hospital stay — generally able to leave day of or day after procedure
- Absence of a large scar
- Faster overall recovery time
What Complications Can Occur?
- Although this operation is considered safe, complications may occur as they might occur with any operation, and you should consult yor physician about your specific case.
- Thelong-term recurrence rate is not yet known. The early results indicate that it is as good as the open approach.
- It is important to remember that before undergoing any type of surgery, whether laparoscopic or traditional, you should ask your surgeon about his/her training and experience.