A hernia occurs when an internal organ or tissue protrudes through a weakened area in the abdominal wall. Hernias can cause swelling, discomfort, pain, and sometimes serious complications if left untreated. Some hernias, most notably in patients with poor general health, may not be appropriate for surgery. Most however will be amenable to surgical repair and these treatments have advanced in recent years, providing effective solutions for individuals suffering from this condition.
Surgical Hernia Repair
Most hernia surgery is achieved using thin but strong surgical mesh. The use of mesh for hernias is safe and achieves a robust and tension free repair which reduces complications from the surgery and the chances of the hernia returning (recurrence). The vast majority of hernias in the UK are repaired using these materials.
Here the surgeon makes an incision over the hernia site, pushes the protruding organ or tissue back into place and then reinforces the weakened abdominal wall with a mesh. A minority of surgeons may offer an old technique of suture repair without mesh but these methods tend to be associated with a higher recurrence of the hernia than with those that use mesh to affect the repair. Open surgery is effective but requires a longer recovery period.
Laparoscopic or minimally invasive surgery involves making small incisions and using specialised instruments and a camera to repair the hernia. This approach typically results in less pain and a faster recovery compared to open surgery. An important difference between the two methods is that key hole repair is associated with a significant reduction in the risk of long term pain and discomfort compared with its open counterpart.
Non-Surgical Hernia Repair
In some cases, especially for small hernias that are not causing significant symptoms, doctors may recommend a monitoring approach. Regular monitoring is carried out to ensure the hernia doesn’t worsen. However, this is not a long-term solution for larger or symptomatic hernias.
Hernia Trusses or Belts:
These are supportive devices that can help reduce discomfort temporarily but do not treat the underlying hernia. They are often considered a last resort and are not recommended for long-term use.
Why Consider Hernia Repair Treatment?
Having hernia repair treatment can not only alleviate symptoms, but prevent future complications such as strangulation, where blood flow to the herniated tissue is compromised. If a hernia is left untreated, this can lead to tissue damage and infection.
Recovery from hernia repair varies depending on the approach used and the individual’s overall health. Patients are typically encouraged to gradually resume normal activities, avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous exercise during the early stages of recovery. Most individuals can return to their daily routines within a few weeks.
Learn More About Hernia Repair With Mr Andrew Clarke
If you have any questions about hernias or the treatment process, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your symptoms and more.