Laparoscopic Hernia Repair

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What is a laparoscopic Hernia Repair?
Laparoscopic Hernia Repair is a technique to fix hernia defect in the abdominal wall using small incisions, telescopes and a patch (mesh). It is usually performed through 3 small incisions on your abdomen. These are the sites used for insertion of instruments and a microchip camera called a ‘laparoscope’. The abdomen is inflated with carbon dioxide gas which allows a good view of the hernia.

The hernia defect is covered and closed by polypropylene mesh which is stapled in place. If there are unexpected difficulties with the operation, then it may be necessary to open your abdomen and
repair the hernia in the conventional way. These may include obesity, a history of prior abdominal surgery causing dense scar tissue, inability to visualize organs or bleeding problems during the operation. When the surgeon feels that it is safest to convert the laparoscopic procedure to an open one, this is not a complication, but rather sound surgical judgment. The decision to convert to an open procedure is strictly based on patient safety.

What are the advantages of Laparoscopic Hernia Repair?
It may offer a quicker return to work and normal activities with a decreased pain for some patients.

Are you a candidate for Laparoscopic Hernia Repair?
Only after a thorough examination can your surgeon determine whether laparoscopic hernia repair is right for you. The procedure may not be best for some patients who have had previous
abdominal surgery or underlying medical conditions. The operation is performed as a day case, which means you will usually stay for part of the day or all day. This operation is usually performed with general anaesthesia.

On the day of surgery
Please follow the instructions that you are given. On arrival to the ward you will be asked to change into a theatre gown. The ward nurse/porter will take you down to the operating theatre. After your operation you will wake up in the recovery area. You will stay in recovery for ½ to 1 hour before being taken back to your ward. You may experience some minor discomfort from your scars. Occasionally, residual air in the abdomen can cause discomfort or pain in your shoulders. You may also feel nauseous from the anaesthetic, but this will pass quickly.

Your wounds will or will not be covered with a dressing, and you will be able to shower on the day of operation if your wound is cover with surgical glue. Absorbable stitches are normally inserted
and do not require removal.

Discharge from hospital
The operation is performed as a day case. On leaving hospital, you may carry on normal activities, but avoid heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for 10 days. You may return to work as soon as you
are comfortable, usually after a few days, and you can resume full sporting activities 2-4 weeks after the operation – you should be advised prior to you leaving the hospital.

You should not drive for at least 48 hours after your operation due to the effects of the anaesthetic drugs. You can begin to drive when you feel comfortable and confident enough to do an emergency stop safely, usually about 7- 10 days. It is always best to check with your insurance company over cover as they may have their own guidelines for you to follow. You may experience pain and discomfort, which can be relieved by taking painkillers.

What Complications Can Occur?
Any operation may be associated with complications. The primary complications of any operation are:
• bleeding and infection, which are uncommon with laparoscopic hernia repair. There is a slight risk of injury to the urinary bladder, the intestines, blood vessels, nerves or the sperm tube going to the testicle.
• Difficulty urinating after surgery is not unusual and may require a temporary tube into the urinary bladder for as long as one week.
• Any time a hernia is repaired it can come back. This long-term recurrence rate is not yet known. Your surgeon will help you decide if the risks of laparoscopic hernia repair are less than the risks of leaving the condition untreated.

Should you have any concerns following your treatment, please contact your own  doctor.

When to Call Your Doctor
Be sure to call your physician or surgeon if you develop any of the following:
• Persistent fever over (38C)
• Bleeding
• Increasing abdominal or groin swelling
• Pain that is not relieved by your medications
• Persistent nausea or vomiting
• Inability to urinate
• Chills
• Persistent cough or shortness of breath
• Purulent drainage (pus) from any incision
• Redness surrounding any of your incisions that is worsening or getting bigger
• You are unable to eat or drink liquids

After discharge if you have any problems please contact your own GP or non emergency number 111.

Other contacts:
Telephone No: Day Surgery Unit 01908 995468 or 01908 995469
Treatment Centre Reception 01908 995452