Ventral Hernia

Approximately 600,000 hernia repair operations are performed annually in the United States. Many are performed by the conventional "open" method. Some are performed laparoscopically. Laparoscopic hernia repair is a relatively new surgical technique to fix tears in the abdominal wall (muscle) using small incisions, a patch (mesh), and special cameras to view inside the body. It frequently offers a more rapid recovery for the patient, less postoperative pain, and a quicker return to work and normal activities.

A ventral hernia, occurs in the midline of the abdomen, usually above the navel (belly button). This type of hernia is usually painless. When a ventral hernia occurs, it is because the abdominal muscles have weakened, this results in a bulge or a tear. In the same way that an inner tube pushes through a damaged tire, the inner lining of the abdomen pushes through the weakened area of the abdominal wall to form a balloon-like sac. This can allow a loop of intestines or other abdominal contents to push into the sac. If the abdominal contents get stuck within the sac, they can become trapped or “incarcerated.” This could lead to potentially serious problems that might require emergency surgery.

A hernia does not get better over time, nor will it go away by itself. Performing this surgery laparoscopically saves the patient trauma and shortens the recovery time significantly versus open repair.