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Minimally Invasive Hernia Surgery: What to Expect

When you have a hernia, tissue inside your body pushes through a weakened area meant to contain it. This problem can lead to a variety of symptoms, including a noticeable bulge, pain, and nausea. In more serious cases, the herniated tissue can even get deprived of blood. These dangerous situations, known as strangulated hernias, can result in tissue damage and even death. 

Unfortunately, this problem will not go away on its own. While you may not need treatment immediately, hernias tend to grow larger with time and will eventually require surgical repair. Doctors perform approximately 1 million hernia surgeries each year. 

At Surgical Associates of North Texas, Scott A. deVilleneuve, MD, specializes in minimally invasive, laparoscopic techniques to repair hernias and help prevent future episodes. 

Minimally invasive surgery vs. open surgery

You can develop a hernia anywhere on your body, but they’re most common in the abdomen and pelvis. There are also several ways to repair a hernia, ranging from traditional open procedures to laparoscopic or minimally invasive techniques.

Open surgery

With a traditional open hernia surgery, your surgeon makes one large incision in the area of the hernia. Your surgeon then uses this access point to put the herniated tissue back in place and strengthen the weakened area where it pushed through. While you can usually go home within a few hours of your procedure, you usually have to avoid strenuous activity and exercise for 4-6 weeks.

Minimally invasive surgery

Unlike traditional hernia surgery, minimally invasive procedures rely on a few small incisions made in your abdomen. Then, Dr. deVilleneuve inserts a thin, flexible instrument similar to a telescope called a laparoscope. This tool contains a tiny video camera smaller than a dime that sends live images from inside of your body to a screen, where Dr. deVilleneuve gets a precise view of your hernia.

This minimally invasive approach offers numerous advantages, including:

You can also expect a recovery period that lasts days instead of weeks. And, within a few months, you’ll barely be able to see your surgical incisions.

What to expect during your procedure

Whether you have traditional or minimally invasive hernia repair surgery, you receive anesthesia to keep you pain-free during the process. Because of this, you may have to avoid consuming foods, beverages, or certain medications in advance, but our team provides instructions beforehand.

Once you’re sedated, Dr. deVilleneuve makes three incisions in your abdomen — each less than one centimeter in size — to insert the laparoscope and specialized tools required to perform your procedure. 

Then, Dr. deVilleneuve inflates your abdomen with carbon dioxide to provide optimal views of the surgical site. This harmless gas creates extra space in the cavity so he can view all of the internal structures.

After identifying the hernia, Dr. deVilleneuve performs the repair. This process involves pushing the herniated tissue back into position and strengthening weak areas with a surgical mesh.

When Dr. deVilleneuve completes your hernia repair, he only needs surgical tape or 1-2 stitches to close your incisions. 

After your hernia surgery

Dr. deVilleneuve performs most minimally invasive hernia surgeries as outpatient procedures, so you should be able to go home the same day. You’ll need a ride home and should plan on taking it easy for the rest of the day. However, you should get up and walk several times each day while you heal to prevent blood clots from forming.

Recovering from hernia surgery varies depending on the severity and type of hernia. However, you can usually resume light activity within a week or two and strenuous activity after a month.

Do you need a hernia treated, or do you want to see if you have a hernia? Get help by booking an appointment online or over the phone with Surgical Associates of North Texas today.

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