Apparently, 18.5 million people around the people suffered from inguinal, femoral and abdominal hernias in 2015. Out of this huge number, 59,800 resulted in complications followed by death.
The reason? Lack of proper technology to cure complex or infected hernias.
Statistics like these make us ponder on the current scenario of treatment options for hernia and the possible approaches in the future that can be implemented.
Current Treatment Options for Hernia
At present, hernia repairs involve two types of surgery: open and laparoscopic.
Hernia Repair With Open Approach
Patients who have large or multiple hernias should ideally opt for these open procedures. The first step in open hernia repair is sedation. The doctor starts with administering anesthesia- general or local.
After sedation, the general surgeon makes a large incision in the groin or abdominal area. Then the doctor pushes the hernia back into the abdomen and repairs the weakened muscles.
The doctor fixes the weakened tissue either by closing it shut (also known as Tension Approach) or strengthening it by placing a mesh in the area (Tension-Free Approach). Followed by this, the surgeon closes the incision with sutures, staples, or surgical glue.
This type of hernia repair incurs pain and discomfort. Moreover, the recovery time is also long. People who have undergone an open hernia repair have reported higher chances of recurrence.
The conventional open hernia treatment has become obsolete in developed countries but they are still performed when the size of the hernia is large and still viable to suture.
Laparoscopic Hernia Repair
The repair of hernia in which a doctor uses a laparoscope to make several small incisions in the abdomen is known as laparoscopic hernia repair. This type of hernia treatment is also performed under the influence of anesthesia.
The laparoscope is a long, slender device that has a light and tiny camera on the top that helps the doctor navigate inside the abdomen. Through the other incisions, doctors insert surgical tools.
Also known as minimally-invasive repair, a general surgeon has specialized in performing the laparoscopic method.
This method is being widely used across the world for several advantages that it offers-
- Less scarring
- Less postoperative pain
- Reduced risk of infection
- Shorter hospital stay
- Faster return to daily activities
Also Read: Why To Opt For Laparoscopic Hernia Repair?
One thing to note here is that not all patients are suitable for a laparoscopic hernia repair. For instance, patients who have adhesions from past abdominal surgeries are not the ideal candidate for this procedure. However, you may confirm the same after consulting with a doctor.
Types of Hernia Repair Mesh
Synthetic Hernia Repair Mesh
This type of hernia repair meshes includes placing standard and composite meshes. The standard meshes are made up of polypropylene, polyesters and expanded polytetrafluoroethylene. While the composite meshes are made up of the aforementioned materials with an added coat of absorbable material. Doctors prefer composite meshes over the standard ones as the material acts as a barrier between mesh and abdominal contents.
Biologic Hernia Repair Mesh
As the name suggests, these are procured from either human or animal dermis. Owing to its biocompatibility, it is able to adapt itself better in the body. However, there is a drawback to this type of meshes. These meshes make the immunogenic response of the host weak.
Hernia Fixation Device
Doctors across the globe use this device to fix the placed mesh with the tissue of the patient. These devices are of two types- absorbable tackers and non-absorbable tackers.
Future Approaches For Hernia Treatment
Hybrid Synthetic Mesh
With the advancement of technology in the medical world, scientists are experimenting with newer products. One such being a hybrid synthetic mesh. This is a new category of meshes. These types of meshes comprise of synthetic and biological scaffolds.
The advantage of these meshes over biological ones is that these maintain their structure tensile for longer periods. The hybrid synthetic meshes are cost-effective also.
3D Meshes And Hernia Plugs
Another advancement in the medical world that is being used for hernia repair is 3D meshes and Hernia plugs. Doctor use these products while repairing an inguinal hernia. The designs of these meshes conform to the shape of the protruded area where the hernia occurred.
Bard’s Phaxis ST
This synthetic mesh is made in a combination of the strength of synthetic meshes with those of tissue modeling characteristics of biological meshes. The design of this type of meshes treats complex hernias as well as infected hernias. Experts believe that this type of mesh will replace the biological meshes completely in the near future.
Self- fixating meshes
The self-fixating property of the meshes that are coming in the market helps doctors to facilitate the mesh placement without any sutures or hernia fixation tackers. This offers surgeons to place the mesh easily and faster. Some examples of this kind of mesh are- Insightra Medical’s Freedom Octomesh Ventral Hernia System, Medtronic’s Parietex ProGrip.
Few more words
With the combination of current approaches for hernia treatment and promising possible options in the future, the number of patients opting for the surgery is likely to increase. The reason being that the new advancements offer several benefits to the patients.
People looking for a hernia repair with a laparoscope can visit their nearest Pristyn Care clinic or get in touch with our medical coordinator to know more.