During laparoscopic hernia repair, the surgeon makes an incision in the patient's abdomen and inserts a small lighted tube for visualization. Then, the surgeon inserts the tools and materials for the repair through other small incisions before closing the hernia and placing mesh over the area to reinforce the strength of the weakened tissue. The patient receives general anesthesia prior to the operation and typically goes home the same day, according to WebMD. Recovery takes about one to two weeks.
Laparoscopic hernia repairs are for inguinal hernias that cause pain, other symptoms or have become incarcerated or strangulated, explains WebMD. However, it is not appropriate for some cases of incarcerated hernias. The surgery is also contraindicated in patients with bleeding disorders or who take blood thinners, those who cannot tolerate general anesthesia, those with scar tissue from previous abdominal surgeries, those with breathing disorders, and patients who are pregnant or extremely obese.
Advantages of laparoscopic surgery over open hernia repair include less pain and quicker recovery, the ability to locate and repair a hernia on the other side of the groin if necessary, a greater ease in repairing a recurrent hernia, and the cosmetic benefits of the small incisions instead of a single large one, as detailed by WebMD. The procedure's risks include adverse reactions to anesthesia, infections, scar tissue or damage to surrounding organs and tissues, difficulty with urination, and the possibility of fluid or blood build-up in the surrounding area.