A hernia is caused when the layer of muscle in the abdominal wall weakens resulting in the contents of the abdomen pushing through. This results in a lump which protrudes under the skin of the abdomen.
Hernia repair restores the contents of the hernia back to their original location. The contents of the hernia are pushed back into place and the operation aims to strengthen the abdominal walls to prevent it happening again.
Common hernia symptoms include pain or discomfort of the lower abdomen. This pain can be caused by the strain of lifting heavy objects, bending over or coughing and can lead to a sense of weakness in the abdomen. Feeling pressure or heaviness in the abdomen can also represent hernia symptoms, as can a burning or aching feeling at the point of the bulge/hernia.
Often the hernia can disappear when you lie down. If you experience any of these symptoms, visit your GP.
Diagnosing An Abdominal Hernia
At Kingsbridge Private Hospital our same day Private GP service can help determine if you have a hernia or not. Our GPs will examine the bulge or swelling to diagnosis the problem. It may be recommended that you have further scans such as an ultrasound if confirmation is required.
What Are The Benefits Of Surgery?
After your hernia repair in our medical factilities, you should no longer have the hernia. Surgery should prevent you from having any serious complications that an untreated hernia can cause.
If a hernia is left untreated it is unlikely that it will go away and in most cases the hernia will get larger as time goes on causing more discomfort.
Although other treatments may help the symptoms associated with a hernia it is important to know that surgery is the only suitable option to completely repair a hernia.
What Should I Know About Surgery?
At your consultation at Kingsbridge Private Hospital your consultant will discuss all aspects of your surgery with you and advise on any concerns you may have.
Local anaesthesia completely blocks pain from the affected area and you will stay awake during the operation. If you are having hernia repair under a general anaesthetic you will be asked to fast before your operation. This means that you should not eat or drink for about six hours before your operation time but our expert surgeons will provide you with the advice you will need to follow.
Types Of Hernia Repair
A hernia repair usually takes around 30-50 minutes to perform depending on the type of surgery and individual circumstances.
There are two techniques that can be used in a hernia operation by keyhole surgery. Both are carried out under a general anaesthetic:
- Totally extraperitoneal (TEP)
- Transabdominal preperitoneal (TAPP).
In a TAPP repair, your surgeon does the hernia operation from within your abdomen. In TEP, the whole hernia operation is done within the layers of the abdominal wall. The cuts on your skin are closed with dissolvable stitches.
During the operation three small cuts (about 1 to 2cm long) will be made on your lower abdomen. The surgeon will pass a tube-like telescopic camera (called a laparoscope) through one of the cuts to view your hernia on a monitor. Once the hernia has been repaired a sheet of synthetic (artificial) mesh is put over the weakness in the abdominal wall to help strengthen it and prevent the possibility of the hernia happening in the future.
There is a chance your surgeon may need to opt to perform the repair using open surgery instead of Keyhole. This is only done if the surgeon is unable to complete the operation safely using keyhole surgery.
Open surgery hernia repairs can be done under general or local anaesthetic. During the operation your surgeon will make a single cut (about 5 to 10cm long) on your lower abdomen and push the contents of the hernia back into place. A synthetic mesh will then be put in place over the weak spot to help strengthen the wall of the abdomen. The cut on your skin is then stitched to hold it together with dissolvable stitches.
Hernia Repair in Belfast at Kingsbridge Private Hospital is one of the General Surgeries we offer. Contact us for more information.