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Hernia Surgery Options

There are many types of surgery for hernia your surgeon may recommend. Each individual should decide what is best for them.

Our physicians offer all treatment options (although all may not be offered at every location) and are able to give the best, most up to date, care for each individual.

Please be sure to request from your surgeon a specific treatment option if you have a desire. There will always be a Kettering Health Network surgeon available with the expertise you're looking for.

This is the "classic" technique that is tried and true for hernia repair of all types. These techniques have been performed for decades by our providers. Some patients will require "open" surgery due to their medical conditions (unable to be put under anesthesia) and some due to the severity of their hernia (multiple recurrences, requiring other procedures at the same time). In either case, sometimes this technique is unavoidable.

The positive side is that these procedures have been around for a long time. The downside is that the scars are bigger, pain from the procedure tends to be greater, and the recovery is longer. Sometimes open incisions may not be avoidable depending on the type of hernia.

The invention of the laparoscope several decades ago has led to smaller incisions for surgery that once always required an "open" incision. However, many procedures are now able to be performed via smaller incisions. These procedures require general anesthesia (completely asleep) and tend to take a little longer than the open incisions because of specialized equipment. A large number of hernias are able to be repaired this way.

The positive side is that rather than large incisions, the surgeon is able to make very small incisions and use a camera and instruments that are on long "sticks" to perform the repair. (This is sometimes referred to as the "laser" or "arthroscope" although neither is used for hernia repair.) The incisions tend to leave much smaller scars, tend to heal more quickly, and oftentimes the initial pain is less.

The downside is that they require special equipment to perform, can take longer while you are asleep, and sometimes have to be "converted" (or changed over) to open incisions due to other factors that the surgeon and patient might not be able to control (bleeding, scar tissue from previous surgery, etc).

This is the newest technique in surgery for hernia repair. The surgeon controls the arms of a robot (all controlled by your surgeon) in order to complete the hernia repair. Repairs that were previously not possible now are thanks to very small incisions with special instruments, technique, or surgical skills.

The positive side is that the incisions are small. Often repairs can be done through fewer incisions, so scars are smaller and the pain from the repairs tends to be less (due to the smaller, less traumatic movements and smaller incisions). Some techniques that were only able to be done through the "open" incision can now be done with small incisions due to this new technology.

The downside is that surgical robots are only available at certain locations and often require a small wait time. Additionally, specialized training is required to be able to use the robot for surgery and therefore not all surgeons can perform with them. The procedures often take a slightly longer time than more common procedures.

In the end, all options are available should they be necessary. Individualized patient treatment plans are available and each patient should decide what is best for them.