Abdominal Wall Hernia Surgery
A hernia is a protrusion of part of the body, through a hole or muscle weakness to a place where it should not be. Whilst these can occur in many different parts of the body and involve a variety of organs including the stomach and brain, typically, this term refers to abdominal wall hernias in the groin. People are most familiar with groin (inguinal canal) hernias which account for 75% of all abdominal wall hernias.
The most common abdominal wall hernias are:
- Inguinal (groin) hernias (75%) – These are more common in men than women and usually present as an uncomfortable bulge in the groin on either side. In men they can enlarge into the scrotum.
- Femoral hernia – These develop in the upper part of the leg just medial to the femoral pulse. They are more common in women.
- Umbilical Hernia – These develop as lumps under or near to the umbilicus. They can be congenital or develop in people who have weakened or stretched (by obesity) abdominal muscles.
- Incisional hernia – These hernias develop at the site of previous surgery or trauma when surgical sutures give way or tear out and the muscles and scar tissue is not strong and intestines (and sometimes other organs) push through the muscle defect.
In the UK about 70,000 inguinal hernia repair operations are performed every year making it the most common operation performed in the world. Surgery can be either “open” (gold-standard) or “laparoscopic”. Both procedures use a tension free mesh and have low complication rate. Hernia recurrence is about 0.5% following “open” surgery and about 4% following laparoscopic operations.
Whilst groin and umbilical hernias are very common and easily treated, sometimes they can be left without treatment. However, they can get bigger, cause pain and cause can lead tobowel obstruction so your surgeon will discuss the various treatment options with you.
Modern surgical techniques mean that pPatients experience a lot less pain, quicker recovery time and a lower failure rate than they did in the past. Most operations are done in under an hour, and patients are able to go home on the same day as the surgery.
Symptoms include pain and the feeling that something has given way, followed by the development of a lump over the following few days or weeks. Often, they develop following unfamiliar strenuous activity. The lump typically gets bigger with coughing.
If you think that you may have a hernia, you should seek medical advice to confirm the diagnosis. Sometimes an ultrasound scan is necessary to confirm the diagnosis.
Our surgical team at the Specialist Medical Clinic offer a complete hernia service. Once a diagnosis is made, most suitable treatment plan and (if indicated) repair option will be discussed, and agreed with you.