What is herniorrhaphy? Is it similar to hernioplasty? What about the herniorrhaphy procedure? To get answers to all these hernia-repair queries, leaf through this article…
Hernia is the abnormal bulging of internal tissue, organ or other structure, which protrudes through a weak portion of the cavity wall. Of all the cases, hernia in the abdomen is reported most frequently, followed by spinal disc herniation. It may also develop in the groin, femoral area and previously operated sites. Hernia may be associated with pain, nausea, vomiting, constipation and urinary discomfort conditions. These symptoms exacerbate with increased pressure and straining.
Oftentimes, an obvious lump can be felt in the affected region. Presence of this palpable lump with typical hernia symptoms are monitored during hernia diagnosis. In case of suspected signs without a lump, the doctor will conduct imaging tests to confirm herniation. For umbilical hernia in babies, the condition improves on its own without therapeutic intervention. Otherwise, the conventional treatment for hernia (severe cases) is herniorrhaphy, which is also called the hernia-repair surgery.
Herniorrhaphy: What is it?
So, exactly what is herniorrhaphy? It is a type of surgical intervention, which is aimed at treating hernia and associated health conditions. In Ancient Greek language, raphere means making a seam or suture, hence the term herniorrhaphy is coined for repairing hernia. Previously this procedure was conducted via the conventional open surgery method. In today’s date, less invasive laparoscopic method is preferred over the open type. It ensures quicker recovery, less pain in the operation site and less risk of infections. In short, laparoscopic surgery is accompanied with less postoperative complications.
Another procedure that is colloquially used with herniorrhaphy is hernioplasty. Although the latter is also aimed at repairing hernia, it differs from the herniorrhaphy surgery. Hernioplasty (classified under tension-free repair) involves placing synthetic meshes over the hernia affected area to strengthen it. The procedure is conducted under local anesthesia and patients can go home within a few hours after surgery. Regarding herniorrhaphy, it is divided into various types based on the location of hernia. Say for example, you will come across the following types of herniorrhaphy.
- Umbilical herniorrhaphy for addressing umbilical hernia.
- Inguinal herniorrhaphy performed for correcting inguinal hernia.
- Ventral herniorrhaphy is conducted for repairing ventral hernia.
- Femoral herniorrhaphy for treatment of femoral hernia, which is often manifested after inguinal hernia repair surgery.
Before the herniorrhaphy procedure (grouped under tension repair), the candidate will be given local or general anesthesia. In the traditional open surgery, a long incision is made over the affected area (where hernia is present). If the hernia is protruding out of the cavity, it will be pushed back to its original position. In case the hernia is affecting adjacent organs, it may be tied off and excised. Following this, the weak region in the muscle wall is corrected by suturing the edges of healthy tissues. The excised skin area in then sewn properly and operation is completed.
The same steps are followed in laparoscopic method of herniorrhaphy, except that smaller incisions are made instead of making a single long cut. A tiny telescope fitted with camera is introduced via the cut, displaying the inner body parts in a computer. With strict monitoring, the doctor corrects hernia with longer instruments. In most cases, candidates are allowed to return home on the same day of the hernia repair surgery. If they need supervising for certain conditions, hospital stay for 2 – 3 days is required. The laparoscopic technique of correcting hernia requires longer time for operation, as compared to open surgery.
Complete recovery period for a laparoscopic herniorrhaphy is about 2 weeks or more. Usually the outcomes of this surgical procedure are impressive, but herniation is returned in about 1.6 – 5 percent of the candidates. In order to avoid the same, candidates should follow the postoperative care tips directed by the concerned surgeon. Also, they require follow-up visits at regular intervals to check for recurrence of hernia.