Innovative Surgical Techniques in Hernia Repair  [return to the list of articles]

A hernia is a protrusion of an organ through the wall of a body cavity that normally contains it. Most hernias occur in the groin and result from a weakening or rupture of the abdominal wall. Many things can cause hernias such as heavy lifting.

Hernias do not always cause pain but may present themselves as a "buldging" area in the groin, the anterior abdominal wall or around a previous incision. Some can become very large. Hernias need to be repaired to prevent two major problems. These problems occur when the organ gets "stuck" (incarcerated) in the hole of the muscle wall which can result in poor blood flow to the organ with resultant strangulation/gangrene.

The newest technique to repair groin hernias is called the patch & plug repair. This technique uses mesh to fix the rupture and has resulted in the lowest risk of recurrence. This technique can be done safely through a two inch incision under local anesthesia and allows for a rapid return to normal activities. Other types of repair include laparoscopic repair which can have a higher rate of recurrence and a technique known as "myofacial flap". These types require general anesthesia.

Your surgeon will assess which technique is best suited for each patient as many factors come into the decision making process.

If you do feel you may have a hernia it is best to have it evaluated by your family doctor or surgeon. Decisions that affect your health and well being are decisions that can last a lifetime.
-- Anthony M Carrato, M.D.