How are hernias repaired?

How are hernias repaired?

Think of a hernia as a hole in a jacket or shirt. You could sew the edges together but sewing the edges together, whether it is clothing or human tissue, results in tension, with the stitches sometimes cutting out and a recurrence of the hole.

Using extra material to repair the hole makes sense – and nowadays the use of mesh to repair an inguinal hernia is standard practice!

But – as you are aware – this is now controversial.

Using mesh to repair the hernia.

The mesh has to be inserted in the correct way, and this is where the skill and experience of the surgeon is important. The gauze or mesh patch is placed either on the outside of the hernia defect or on the inside.

The open approach makes a small incision over the hernia.  It can be carried out using just a local anaesthetic, although the majority of surgeons seem to prefer their patient’s fully asleep under a general anaesthetic.

Keyhole, or laparoscopic surgery, is carried out through small holes in the abdomen, with a telescope and special instruments. It is certainly a good method for some hernias, but it does have some disadvantages, one of which is that it can only be carried out under a general anaesthetic.