A hernia is usually recognized as a defect in abdominal wall musculature resulting in a bulge under your skin. Occasionally, it causes no discomfort at all, but you may feel pain when you lift heavy objects, cough, strain during urination or bowel movements or with prolonged standing or sitting. The discomfort may be sharp or a dull ache that gets worse towards the end of the day. These bulges can be found typically at your umbilicus (“belly button”), in either or both groins, or at previous surgical incisions.
Hernias can be present at birth and develop later in life. Some hernias may protrude in the existing openings of the abdominal cavity or any weakened areas of the abdominal wall. Overstraining or any activities and conditions that cause increased pressure to the abdominal cavity could contribute to the development or worsening of a hernia. Coughing, heavy lifting, overstraining due to a bowel movement, straining due to difficulty urinating and even obesity are all common conditions and activities that can create or contribute to the forming and worsening of a hernia.
Laparoscopic hernia repair is a technique to fix tears or openings in the abdominal wall using small incisions, laparoscopes (small telescopes inserted into the abdomen) and a patch (screen or mesh) to reinforce the abdominal wall.
While these can be repaired using traditional open techniques and large incisions, most patients prefer the laparoscopic approach, which offers the benefits of less postoperative pain, quicker return to regular activities, and a lower rate of infection and/or recurrence. Most patients can return home on the same day of their procedure.