How Are Hernias Treated?

If your hernia is small and not causing you discomfort, your doctor may decide to watch and wait. Small hernias may even be gently pushed back into place after you have applied ice to reduce the swelling.

Most hernias, however, require surgical repair. During surgery, your doctor will push the bulging tissue back into your abdominal cavity and secure the weakened tissues. Often, a mesh material is used to help repair the weakness and prevent further hernias.

Our surgeons perform open surgery, as well as minimally invasive surgeries, for hernia repair. Your surgeon will explain your particular procedure in more detail.

Minimally Invasive Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparoscopic surgery requires only a few small incisions into which your surgeon will fit long, thin surgical instruments and a tiny camera. The camera will provide images to guide the surgeon during the procedure.

Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery

Many laparoscopic surgeries today are performed using a robotic system, such as the da Vinci Surgical System. This option gives your surgeon a magnified 3D high-definition view of the area. The system also enables the surgeon’s hand movements to be translated into precise movements of small instruments inside your body. The 3D visualization of a robot offers surgeons a better view of the surgical site when compared to laparoscopic procedures. This is especially important if you are obese, have scar tissue or have tortuous blood vessels.

Robotic surgery has many advantages over other forms of surgery. With robotic surgery, you probably will have a shorter length of stay and may go home the same day as your operation. Your incisional scars will be smaller and less visible. Studies also have shown that surgeries using a robotic procedure result in less pain medication and fewer complications, such as infections.

Robotic instruments also have a wide range of motion, like a human hand, resulting in greater surgical precision and access. This improved access is especially important during hiatal hernia repairs in which surgeons often have to turn and twist their bodies to get to the hernia during open or laparoscopic operations.

Open Surgery

With open surgery, your physician will make an incision at the site of the abnormality large enough so he or she can see and touch your internal organs while operating.

For inguinal and umbilical hernias, this often can be done with less anesthesia, so it may be the better option for some patients.