Hernias are where a weakness in the abdominal wall allow some of the abdominal contents to squeeze out so they sit directly beneath the skin. One of the most common sites of hernias is the groin also known as an inguinal hernia.
As a primarily mechanical problem, groin hernias have long been fixed by surgery. In fact, surgery is the recommended treatment for almost all groin hernias. The choice of operation has evolved over time with using surgical mesh to reinforce the abdominal wall becoming the gold standard since 1989. The most recent evolution in hernia repair surgery is using laparoscopy, also known a keyhole surgery, to repair the hernia and place the mesh.
In traditional open groin hernia surgery a cut is made over the groin where the hernia occurs, cutting open the outer of the three layers of abdominal wall muscles and placing a mesh between the outer two muscle layers. With laparoscopic groin hernia surgery a camera and fine instruments are used to repair the hernia and place the mesh on the inside of the abdominal wall muscles without having to cut the muscles.
Laparoscopic groin hernia surgery has been studied extensively over the last decade and have been demonstrated to reduce the risk of ongoing pain and numbness in the groin after surgery by about half compared to open surgery. Laparoscopic groin hernia surgery is also associated with people being comfortable to return to their normal activities about 7 days sooner than with open hernia surgery. There is no difference in the rates of the hernia coming back when comparing open and laparoscopic groin hernia surgery.
Dr Smith is very experienced at laparoscopic groin hernia repairs and stands behind this operation as the new gold standard technique when repairing groin hernias.