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Treatment of a Hernia

Non-surgical options for the treatment of a hernia may involve “watchful waiting," with perhaps the physical support of wearable devices such as trusses, corsets, or binders.  This is particularly true if the patient’s hernia is not getting larger or causing any pain or discomfort.12

Surgery is the only way to repair a hernia, by restoring the anatomy, and is often necessary for hernias in women and those that cause symptoms in men. In fact, over a million hernia repair surgeries are performed each year in the United States.13

Hernia Repair in Adults

There are several surgical options that a healthcare provider may consider for patients with hernias:

  • Open Repair

    Traditional open surgery may be performed in certain cases such as those in which previous surgery (e.g. cesarean section, hysterectomy or previous hernia in the same area) has caused scar tissue and fibrosis making visualization and performance with minimally invasive techniques (described below) unfeasible. The surgeon may be required to open a large incision for better identification of the anatomy and to control any unexpected complications. For complicated hernias such as those involving strangulation or obstruction, emergency open surgery may be required.   

  • Minimal invasive surgical techniques

    Gaining popularity due to their advantages over open surgery, such as fewer complications, less pain and scarring, and less post-operative recovery time.  For example, laparoscopic repair may only require small incisions that can be made in the abdominal wall to create space for operative repair using minimally invasive equipment.14

    Single incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS™) is another form of laparoscopic surgery repair for hernia which is performed through the navel. It is less invasive than the traditional laparoscopic repair and may result in minimizing the risk of complications.15

  • Robotic hernia repair

    Widely considered to be a safe and effective surgical option. A specialized robot allows 3D visualization of the surgical field and accurate control of the surgical tools.

Surgeons may also opt for the use of surgical mesh to strengthen the hernia repair and reduce the rate of recurrence. Surgical mesh may also provide additional benefits such as improving patient outcome by minimizing operative time and reducing recovery time.16 



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