open vs laparoscopic hernia surgery

A hernia is a medical condition in which a hole is formed in the muscle wall of the abdomen. The only method to treat hernia is surgery and there are two techniques available- open surgery and laparoscopic surgery. Both these techniques are quite effective in treating all kinds of hernias, but which technique is the best? 

Every patient who has a hernia asks this question to the doctor as their minds are usually fixated on one type of hernia repair surgery. People have opinions, like “though laparoscopic hernia surgery is painless, open repair is the best technique.” On the other hand, some people think “open surgery is dangerous and morbid operation whereas laparoscopic repair is much safer.” Some patients even switch doctors if they recommend a surgical method that is not of their choice. 

The first thing you should understand is that both open hernia surgery and laparoscopic hernia surgery are standard treatment methods that are safe and effective. 

Today, we will ponder the question- which surgery is best and discuss the factors that a doctor accounts for while determining the best technique for hernia repair. 

How does a surgeon decide between laparoscopic hernia repair and open surgery?

The technique used for hernia repair is a decision that is made after a proper diagnosis of the condition. It is the type of hernia the patient has that acts as a deciding factor. The doctors cannot stick with one technique for the treatment of all types of hernia. Thus, the following factors are considered- 

  • The size of the hernia
  • Hernia location 
  • Type of hernia (inguinal, umbilical, femoral, incisional, hiatal, etc.)
  • Overall physical health of the patient 
  • The regular lifestyle of the patient
  • Has the patient had hernia operations before 

Every minor and major thing is considered before choosing the right technique for a patient. 

For instance, a doctor takes a patient case who has a small umbilical hernia and he/she is an active sportsperson who wants to resume practice as quickly as possible. In this scenario, the doctor’s choice of technique for the patient will be laparoscopic hernia surgery. The treatment will be minimally invasive, the recovery will be quick, the pain will be minimal, and the patient can return to practice as soon as possible. 

On the other hand, consider the doctor takes a patient who is 60-year old with obesity and has had two hernia operations in the past. In this case, the doctor will have to account for all factors and choose open surgery to treat the hernia. This is because the patient has significant risks with laparoscopic repair and due to the failed repairs, there will be many weak points in the abdominal wall and it will be difficult to find the correct spot where an incision can be made without affecting the overall integrity of the muscle wall. 

Through these examples, you might understand that the right question is not “which technique is best,” but  instead “which technique is best for me?”

Comparison between Open & Laparoscopic Hernia Repair 

Both the open technique and laparoscopic technique have their own advantages and disadvantages. The advantage of one technique is the disadvantage for the other. The final decision is made based on the aspects that the patient considers more important and what the doctor suggests. 

comparison of open and laparoscopic hernia repair surgery

From the above information, you will get a general idea of the two approaches followed for hernia repair. But before you make up your mind that a specific technique is superior to the other, it is important that you have a detailed discussion with a hernia expert to understand your treatment options. Only a doctor can make the right decision regarding the right approach for hernia treatment. 

Laparoscopic & Open Hernia Surgery for Types of Hernias 

Like we mentioned above, the choice of technique is dictated primarily by the type of hernia, its size, and location. In general, there can be several risks with both conventional open surgery as well as the modern laparoscopic approach. So, unless there are some underlying factors at play, the following technique of surgery will be preferred- 

  • Femoral hernia – open
  • Inguinal hernia – laparoscopic or open
  • Parastomal hernia – laparoscopic
  • Umbilical hernia – open
  • Ventral / Incisional hernia – laparoscopic

In case a hernia is large and has been bothering the patient for a long time, the open procedure may be preferred over laparoscopic technique even though it is a minimally invasive procedure. 

Consult a Hernia Specialist to Find Out the Best Technique for Hernia Repair 

As a layman, the patient may not be as knowledgeable as a hernia specialist to make the final decision about hernia treatment. Therefore, it is crucial that you get in touch with expert hernia doctors and consult them properly. 

The doctor will evaluate your overall health and then recommend the most plausible method of treatment. Whether you are seeking treatment for inguinal hernia, umbilical hernia, or any other type of hernia, you can get in touch with Pristyn Care and consult their highly experienced surgeons for hernia treatment. Each technique has its own benefits and risks but it is generally up to the doctor to determine the best technique for hernia repair surgery. 

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