Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
In this Article
- Abdominal hernia facts
- What is an abdominal hernia?
- Where are abdominal hernias located?
- What are abdominal hernia symptoms and signs?
- What are the different types of abdominal hernias?
- How is an abdominal hernia repaired?
- What is laparoscopic abdominal hernia repair surgery?
- What about the use of a laser in abdominal hernia repair?
- What kind of anesthesia is used for abdominal hernia surgery?
- Can strengthening the muscles make an abdominal hernia go away?
- What can be done to prevent an abdominal hernia?
- Are abdominal hernias inherited?
- Do abdominal hernias usually develop on both sides of the body?
- Should all abdominal hernias be repaired?
- How can a person determine if a lump or swelling is an abdominal hernia?
- Find a local Surgeon in your town
What is laparoscopic abdominal hernia repair surgery?
A number of factors have led to the development of a new method of repair called laparoscopic hernia repair. This technique is an extension of a traditional mesh repair method that was used in patients who had already experienced several hernia recurrences at the same site. Previously, this mesh repair approach had required a separate incision somewhat removed from the target area. However, with the progressive development of the instruments and techniques for laparoscopic surgery, the same procedure can now be done with several relatively small incisions. This allows the surgeon to enter the space behind the hernia defect and place the mesh with minimal injury to the surface of the abdomen. The advantages of this method include coverage of all the potential sites of groin hernia, which reduces the risks of recurrence while also decreasing the amount of postsurgical pain.
What about the use of a laser in abdominal hernia repair?
This is a relatively common question. It arises because, for a time, there were some surgeons marketing "laser hernia repair." While a laser may have been used to make the incision and to separate the tissues, the laser has no application in the repair of a hernia. It is impossible to perform the necessary structural repair with a laser, which functions essentially as a cutting tool. There has been no evidence that incisions by lasers will decrease pain or decrease healing time.
What kind of anesthesia is used for abdominal hernia surgery?
Most hernia repairs can be done with a variety of anesthetic methods. With modern general anesthetic techniques and monitoring, general anesthesia can be very safe. However the surgery can also be performed under local anesthesia or regional anesthetics, often using sedation medications at the same time to help relax the patient. The specific type of anesthetic for an individual patient is selected after careful evaluation of the patient's general health and individual concerns.
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