This is a bulge or area of weakness in the muscles which form the lower front of the stomach in the groin region.
A small laparoscope is used to visualise the area under the muscles of the abdomen to examine the weakened area. Two other instruments are inserted to display the area of weakness causing the hernia. A patch of material or mesh is then used to reinforce this weakened area. Using this method, a large cut is avoided and the pain after the procedure is less, the recovery time is also quicker. The results appear to be as good as the open operation and gradually this operation is being done more and more. About 5% of hernias will recur after open or laparoscopic repairs. About 2% of laparoscopic hernia repairs have to be converted to open operations because of technical difficulties. In order to perform an open repair, a cut is made into the skin overlying the hernia. The bulge is pushed back, and the sac is cut off. The weak part is mended and strengthened, usually with nylon stitches and a mesh patch which is used to strengthen the defect. The cut in the skin is then closed-up.
- Complications are rare and seldom serious.
- A lump may be present in the groin which may feel like the original hernia. Do not worry, this is normal.
- Bruising and swelling may be troublesome, particularly if the hernia was large. The swelling may take four to six weeks to settle down.
- Infection is a rare problem and will be treated appropriately by the surgeon.
- Aches and twinges may be felt in the wound for up to six months.
- Occasionally there are numb patches in the skin around the wound which get better after 2 to 3 months.
- The risk of a recurrence of the hernia is about five in 100. Recurrences after laparoscopic repair usually occur in the first few months.
After your consultation:
- Obtain authorization from your medical aid and book your bed for your hospital admission.
- Carefully read through pre-operative information provided.
Day before surgery:
- Do not eat/drink after 22h00, the night before your surgery, unless otherwise specified by your surgeon or anaesthetist (you should be fasting for at least 6 hours before the procedure for solids but you are allowed to take clear liquids up to two hours before your procedure).
Day of surgery:
- Arrive for admission at indicated time on ‘Code & Consent’ sheet.
- Change into theatre attire, remove all valuable belongings.
Approximately 45 minutes to an hour, this depends on the size and complexity of the hernia.
Duration of hospital stay:
- 1-2 days (dependent on pain management, general state of patient and first bowel movement).
- Refrain from strenuous activities (incl. exercise) for at least 4 weeks post-operatively.
Back to work:
- Sick leave required post-operatively is approximately 7-14 days.
Some pain and discomfort post operatively may be expected following any operation, but the following measures are used to lessen the pain experienced:
- Warming devises in theatre as well as warm intravenous fluids.
- Intra-operative pain medication through the drip.
- Post-operative medication through the drip, please inform the nurses if you are in pain so that medication will be administered to you.
- As close to one week after discharge as possible. Please contact the rooms to schedule an appointment.