Laparoscopic Incisional and Ventral Hernia Repair
A ventral hernia is a hole in the strength layer of a patient’s abdomen called the fascia. An incisional hernia is a type of ventral hernia that develops through an incision from a previous surgery. Incisional hernias are very common. In fact, as many as one in five patients who undergo a laparotomy (abdominal incision) develop an incisional hernia. Ventral hernias can sometimes be repaired by pulling the fascia together, however this will result in a recurrence rate of up to 50%. Recurrence rates are significantly reduced by using mesh. Mesh repairs can be performed through an open surgery method; however this requires larger incisions and a greater risk of wound complications.
Patients undergoing a laparoscopic ventral hernia repair will report to the Same Day Surgery Department at Peninsula Regional Medical Center at the appointed time. The surgeon and anesthesiologist will see the patient to answer any last minute questions. The patient will then be taken to the operating room where the procedure will be performed under general anesthesia. The repair requires 3 or 4 small incisions (less than 1 inch) on the side of abdomen. There will also be several tiny incisions (approx. 1 millimeter) on the abdomen which are needed to suture the mesh to the abdominal fascia. The mesh is further secured with metal tacks.
The surgery takes approximately two hours. After the surgery is completed, the patient will be taken to the post-op recovery area, then to their room where family may visit. An abdominal binder, a large support strap around the abdomen, is usually placed on the patient while in the operating room which will help with discomfort when the patient is out of bed for the first couple weeks after surgery. Most patients will be kept in the Medical Center for one night so they can remain comfortable on IV pain medication, and then discharged the following morning on oral pain medicine.
The patient will follow up with their surgeon one to two weeks after the surgery. Return to regular actively will be up to the discretion of the surgeon, but most patients are instructed to avoid heavy lifting for a few weeks.