Ask the Doctor...
What is a hernia?
The most common form of hernia is known as an “Inguinal” or groin hernia. This hernia is a “hole” in the abdominal wall through which contents of the abdomen protrude and are seen and felt as a bulge in the groin. Approximately 40 percent of men and only three percent of women will be diagnosed with a groin hernia at some point in their lives. * A great misconception is that hernias are an injury, tear, or rupture. In fact, they are a weakness in the abdominal wall, present at birth, and can be identified at any age, including infancy. Hernias can occur in one or both sides of the groin.
When is it appropriate to fix a hernia?
As a surgeon I am frequently asked if hernias should be repaired and if so, when? Hernias cannot be addressed through exercise or with medication. Hernias should be repaired once identified. It is rarely an emergency, and surgery can be scheduled when it’s convenient for the patient. Hernias that are not repaired commonly increase in size, can lead to increased discomfort, and may potentially require emergency surgery.
How is a hernia fixed?
Hernias are repaired surgically usually as a same-day operation. My preference is to repair inguinal hernias with a robotic laparoscopic approach using the daVinci robotic system. The robotic approach allows the surgeon to assess for and repair hernias, if present, on both sides of the groin or at the belly button. Laparoscopic hernia surgery is often the best approach in patients who are overweight, are known to have hernias on both sides, or have a recurrent (redo) hernia.
The robotic laparoscopic operation is performed through 3 small incisions in the mid abdomen. Hernias in either groin or at the belly button are repaired in one operation. Synthetic mesh or a patch is placed at the surgical incision site to strengthen the repair.
In my experience, the robotic laparoscopic approach leads to a quicker recovery with less pain and a superior repair. Patient satisfaction is excellent, and risk of recurrent hernias is very low.
Dr. Dexter performs a wide range of general surgery procedures and has a particular interest in minimally invasive and daVinci® robotic surgery. To schedule an appointment, call 941-254-6767.
8340 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Suite 290, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202
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