How is laparoscopic inguinal hernia surgery done?
A laparoscopic inguinal hernia (rupture in the abdominal wall) repair is a routine surgery and may take up to two hours. A general surgeon usually performs the surgery in an operation theater. The patient is placed under general anesthesia during the procedure.
- Prior to the surgery the patient
- Undergoes blood, urine and imaging tests.
- Must avoid eating and drinking 8 hours prior to the procedure.
- Must check with the doctor before taking any regular medications.
- Must inform the doctor of any allergies, or if pregnant.
- An anesthesiologist administers anesthesia and monitors the patient’s vital functions during the procedure.
- The surgeon makes three incisions in the skin below the navel, in the inguinal region.
- The surgeon inflates the abdomen with carbon dioxide.
- The surgeon inserts the laparoscope through one of the incisions and uses the other incisions for inserting the surgical tools.
- Guided by the images from the laparoscope the surgeon gently pushes the protruding tissue or intestine back in place.
- The surgeon checks for other weak spots as an inguinal hernia might occur on one side or both sides.
- In case of incarcerated or strangulated hernia the surgeon may remove the hernial sac and repair the area with stitches.
- The surgeon fixes a mesh in the weak area to prevent the hernia from recurring.
- The surgeon strengthens the weak spot in the abdominal muscle wall with stitches if it is a direct hernia.
- The surgeon closes the inguinal ring with sutures in case of an indirect hernia.
- The incision is then closed with sutures.
- The patient is brought out of anesthesia, administered pain medication, and monitored in the recovery room until vital functions are stable.
How long does it take to recover from a laparoscopic inguinal hernia surgery?
Most patients will go home the same day or a day after the laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair. Generally, people will be able to resume normal activities within two weeks, but will have to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activities.
What are the risks and complications of a laparoscopic inguinal hernia surgery?
Laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair is one of the simplest and safest surgeries, but like any surgical procedure, carries certain risks.
Surgical risks such as:
- Blood clots
- Injury to nearby organs, blood vessels or nerves
- Fluid (seroma) or blood (hematoma) in the scrotum, inguinal canal or stomach wall
- Damage to the spermatic cord (the cord that carries sperm from the testicle to the penis), which may affect fertility
- Pain in the spermatic cord or testicle
- Bladder injury and/or difficulty in urination
- Scar tissue (adhesions)
- Incisional hernia
- Injury to the testicle
- Recurrence of inguinal hernia