A hernia is the protrusion of an organ or the fascia of an organ through the wall of the cavity that normally contains it. There are different kinds of hernia – by far the most common develop in the groin or the abdomen, when a weakness in the abdominal wall evolves into a localized hole, or “defect”, through which adipose tissue, or abdominal organs covered with peritoneum, may protrude.
Both men and women can get a hernia. A hernia does not get better over time – a hernia will not go away by itself, it will only get bigger. The bigger the defect, the bigger the operation required to fix it. Hernias are easily felt and diagnosed. You may notice a bulge under the skin. You may feel pain when you lift heavy objects, cough, strain during urination or bowel movements or during prolonged standing or sitting.
In laparoscopic hernia surgery, a telescope attached to a camera is inserted through a small incision that is made next to the umbilicus (belly button). Two other small cuts are made, about the diameter of pencil, in the lower abdomen. The hernia defect is reinforced with a ‘mesh’ (the same material that stitches are made from) and secured in position with titanium tacks. Compared to conventional (open) surgery, in addition to the smaller scars, the advantages of laparopic surgery include experiencing less pain and an earlier return to normal activities, including work.