What is Hernia?
Hernia occurs when the peritoneum, which is the muscular wall that keeps the organs in the abdomen in place, develops a defect, allowing tissues and organs to produce a bulge and push through. The bulge may disappear when patient is lying down and sometimes, when it is still small, it may be pushed back in place.
Types of Hernias
In Females, it is more common to get a hernia in the femoral area, just below the groin. In males, Inguinal hernia is more common and it is a lump in the groin which may reach the scrotum. This is the most common type of hernia.
This is a defect in the umbilical or periumbilical area causing a bulge in this region.
This is known better as hiatus hernia where the stomach starts pushing out of the abdominal cavity into the chest due to an opening in the diaphragm.
Whilst being more rare, one can develop an incisional hernia through a scar of a past incisional scar.
Statistics show that men are more at risk of developing hernia (especially inguinal hernia) than women, having a lifetime risk of 25% and women having 3% lifetime risk.
When a hernia is still small, many do not notice any real symptoms apart from painless swelling. Unfortunately, a hernia, may increase in size, cause discomfort and pain which may become worse during strenuous activity. This usually leads to more swelling and pain leading to the patient to seek advice of a Doctor.
In some cases where part of the intestines becomes obstructed, hernia would require immediate repair by surgery since such a situation would cause acute abdominal symptoms such as vomiting, cause and pain.
Whilst many still opt to correct a hernia by an open surgery method, nowadays it is recommended and encouraged to take a laparoscopic/ keyhole approach. This is the approach preferred by our expert surgeon Mr Hirides.
There are 2 laparoscopic approaches; Transabdominal Preperitoneal (TAPP) approach and Total Extraperitoneal (TEP).
The TEPP is a technique where the Surgeon gets into the peritoneal cavity and uses a mesh to cover the defects in the muscle wall. The TAP technique is a method whereby the Surgeon does not enter the cavity and uses the mesh to cover the defect from outside the peritoneum. The latter offers lesser complications than the TEPP, but is only done by expert surgeons with many years of experience.
When compared to open surgery, both techniques minimise drastically the post operative acute and chronic pain together with recovery time.
Our Surgeon is an expert in both the TAPP and TEP techniques and during a consultation, one would discuss which option would be more suitable depending on one’s needs.