Surgery and Treatment Options for Hernias
Depending on the size of the hernia and severity of the symptoms, surgery may be required. The doctor may simply monitor the hernia for possible complications.
Simply changing diet can often treat symptoms of a hiatal hernia. Avoid large or heavy meals, do not lie down or bend over after a meal, and keep body weight in a healthy range. If these changes in diet do not eliminate discomfort, surgery might be required to correct the hernia.
A doctor will only operate if the hernia grows larger and causes pain. Remember, not all hernias are painful. Surgically sewing the hole in the abdominal wall closed can repair a hernia. However, the more common treatment for hernias is to patch the hole with surgical mesh. Both methods of surgical treatment of hernias can be repaired with laparoscopic or robotic surgery.
Laparoscopic surgery implements a tiny camera and miniaturized surgical equipment to repair the hernia using only a few small incisions. This minimally invasive procedure produces less damage to the surrounding tissues compared to traditional open surgery. Open surgery also requires a longer recovery process, typically being unable to move for up to six weeks. Laparoscopic surgery has a much shorter recovery time; however, the risk of the hernia recurrence is higher. In addition, not all hernias are suitable for laparoscopic repair, including those in which a portion of your intestines has moved down into the scrotum.
Although Dr. Alexander has decades of experience with laparoscopic hernia repair, he prefers to use advanced robotic surgery for the treatment and repair of inguinal (groin) hernias in both men and women. While robotic surgery provides the same benefits as laparoscopic surgery, it also improves the surgeon’s visualization, dexterity, and precision. As the most advanced, minimally invasive procedure available, robotic surgery can be performed in patients who are not candidates for laparoscopic repair and would have otherwise required an open hernia repair. Inquire with Dr. Alexander today to see if you are a candidate for a da Vinci robotic hernia repair.
Tips to help prevent hernias include:
- Not smoking
- Seeing your doctor when you are sick to avoid developing a persistent cough
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Avoiding straining during bowel movements or urination
- Not lifting weights that are too heavy for you and lifting with your knees, not your back.
Surgery is generally the only hernia treatment option, however Dr. Alexander’s procedures will allow you to return home the same day!
Advanced Robotic Hernia Surgery
New advancements in technology have opened additional opportunities for robotic surgery through the minimally invasive option for patients facing abdominal or gastrointestinal surgery. Implemented by Dr. Magdi Alexander, the da Vinci System features a magnified 3D high-definition vision system and special wristed instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human wrist. As a result, da Vinci robotic surgery enables Dr. Magdi Alexander to operate with enhanced vision and precision for better surgical success.
The Advantages of Robotic Hernia Surgery are:
- Improved accuracy
- Improved precision
- Smaller incisions
- Less scarring
- Shorter recovery time
Minimally Invasive Laparoscopic Hernia Repair
Laparoscopic Hernia Repairs consist of fixing tears in the abdominal wall (muscle) with small incisions, telescopes, and a patch (mesh). This minimally invasive surgical technique will allow most patients to experience a faster recovery and faster turnaround to return to work and normal activities with decreased pain.
The Advantages of Laparoscopic Hernia Surgery are:
- Minimal scaring and tiny incision
- Patients go home within a few hours after surgery
- In some cases a patient needs less than a week to recover
Dr. Magdi Alexander must conduct a thorough examination of all patients before he can determine laparoscopic hernia repair as the best surgical option. The procedure may not be fit for patients who have undergone previous abdominal surgery or have underlying medical conditions.
Dr. Alexander will keep your personal health as his number one concern throughout the entire process, from your first consultation to your recovery after treatment or surgery.
Open Tension-Free Mesh Hernia Repair (traditional)
The Open Tension-Free Mesh Repair is the traditional surgical method implementing a synthetic patch. This “tension-free” repair involves placing mesh in the inguinal region to strengthen it. Patients typically go home within a few hours of surgery, often requiring no medication.
We encourage patients to walk as soon as possible, postoperatively. They should resume most normal activities within a week or two of the operation. Some complications may include chronic pain (varying from 10-50% depending on source), foreign-body sensation, stiffness, ischemic orchitis, testicular atrophy, dysejaculation, anejaculation, or painful ejaculation.
Biological Tissue Hernia Repair
Biological mesh is used during inguinal, ventral, and umbilical hernia repairs.
Most patients will be able to return to normal activities within a couple days of surgery. However, different factors may affect an individual’s hernia recovery, and recovery time will vary from patient to patient. Patients should progressively return to normal activities but stop immediately if any pain occurs. If pain continues, patients should contact Dr. Magdi Alexander. In order to ensure strong long-term health it is necessary to heal completely before straining the body.
After surgery with Dr. Magdi Alexander, patients can expect to return to work fairly quickly. Most patients will be able to return to sedentary work within 3-5 days. Those who work in a moderately physical work environment will require 1-2 weeks of recovery, and physically intensive workers may return within 2 weeks, returning only to a lighter workload to start. If the surgery is done as an outpatient procedure, patients should expect to go home the same day.
Recovery times and activities should be discussed with Dr. Magdi Alexander to ensure maximum recovery. Dr. Alexander is committed to making this process as easy as possible from your first consultation to your recovery after treatment or surgery.
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