Inguinal hernia is caused when the abdominal tissues pushes through the weakest spot of the inguinal canal. The inguinal canal lies in the groin, which is the base junction that connects the abdomen and the thighs. Inguinal hernia is found in both men and women. In men the inguinal canal carries the spermatic cord to the testis. In women the inguinal canal contains the ligament that supports the uterus. Formation of hernia in this passage can result in bulges of the canal and pain during movement. Inguinal hernia will be noticeable when they grow large and form a bulge in the public areas.
The inguinal hernia can be classified as:
- Indirect inguinal hernia: commonly found hernia in new born babies when the inguinal canal is not fully developed. The hernia will be formed lateral to the blood vessels. This is the most commonly found type of inguinal hernia. In adults it is commonly found in men.
- Direct inguinal hernia: Direct inguinal hernia is found in adults and the hole will be in the middle from the blood vessels.
- Incarcenated hernia: When the abdominal tissues push through the wall of the inguinal canal and get stuck in the groin then the hernia is known as incarcerated hernia.
Strangulated hernia: Strangulated hernia is more dangerous and requires immediate treatment as they can stop the blood flow to the small intestine.
In most cases the hernia can be repositioned by the doctor by pushing it back to position while lying down. If the hernia is incarcerated or strangulated then surgery is the only option to correct the deformality.
Laparoscopic inguinal hernia surgery begins with general anesthetic. The surgeon makes a small incision in the abdomen. The abdomen is inflated with air to get a clear view of the internal cavity. A laparoscope (a thin long tube with a camera attached to its end) is inserted through the incision. This allows getting an enlarged view of the organs and abdominal cavity through the monitor. Hernia repairing tools are inserted through other incisions into the abdomen. A mesh is positioned to reinforce the abdominal wall. Later the incision are stitched and closed.
Laparoscopic inguinal hernia surgery can be categorized into two namely:
- Transabdominal preperitoneal (TAPP) – in this type of hernia surgery, the repair tools are inserted through the incision made in the abdominal wall passing through the peritoneum that is the lining covering the organ. A small flap of this lining is peeled back from the hernia and a mesh is placed over the weakened area. This mesh acts as a support to the abdominal wall and provides strength to prevent further thrusting of the tissues.
- Totally extraperitoneal (TEP) – this method is the recent development in laparoscopic technique. It involves revamping the hernia without inflowing the peritoneal cavity.
After laparoscopic hernia surgery, patients can be leave the hospital in a day or two and can do light daily activities. Patients have less pain and meditation is provided for faster recovery.