How it’s Performed
A laparoscopic ventral hernia repair is performed with a tiny instrument called a laparoscope which has an attached lens that transmits an image of the affected area. This device is inserted through one of the small incisions. The other incisions are used for the placement of instruments to insert the surgical mesh into the abdomen to correct the tear and remove any scar tissue that may be present. Special surgical tacks or sutures are often used to hold the surgical mesh in place. Most laparoscopic repairs for ventral hernias are done with three or four small incisions ranging in size from a quarter inch to half an inch. The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia.
Most laparoscopic surgeries like this are performed as outpatient procedures, meaning patients usually go home the same day. There may be some mild or moderate discomfort immediately after the procedure, although this is usually managed with pain medication. Strenuous abdominal movements are best avoided until the incision sites heal. Some patients have swelling in the affected area from collected fluid in the hernia space. If this doesn’t go away on its own, it may be aspirated with a needle.
Hernias, in general, tend to be caused by severe abdominal strain. Additional risk factors include age, excess weight, and activities that cause abdominal pressure like persistent coughing or difficult bowel movements.