A hernia occurs when an organ pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue that holds it in place. For example, the intestines may break through a weakened area in the abdominal wall.
Many hernias occur in the abdomen between your chest and hips, but they can also appear in the upper thigh and groin areas.
Most hernias aren’t immediately life-threatening, but they don’t go away on their own. Sometimes they can require surgery to prevent dangerous complications.
Laparoscopic hernia repair is performed with general anesthesia and requires use of a breathing tube.
Three half-inch or smaller incisions are made in the lower part of the abdomen. In laparoscopic hernia repair, a camera called a laparoscope is inserted into the abdomen to visualize the hernia defect on a monitor. The image on the monitor is used to guide the surgeon’s movements. The hernia sac is removed from the defect in the abdominal wall, and a prosthetic mesh is then placed to cover the hernia defect. While doing this, surgeons are careful to avoid injuring the nerves that are near the hernia (that can cause chronic pain if injured), blood vessels that can bleed, or the vas deferens (which carries sperm from the testicle and can reduce fertility if injured). The small incisions are closed with stitches (sutures) that dissolve on their own over time. You should discuss all hernia repair options with your surgeon to determine which approach is best for you.
The majority of patients undergoing elective or nonemergent groin hernia repair go home the same day as the surgery once their pain is under control, they have urinated, and they are able to tolerate food or liquids without nausea or vomiting.