Laparoscopic Ventral/Incisional Hernia Repair
The Division of General Surgery at The Mount Sinai Health System offers the full spectrum of surgical treatments for ventral hernias and incisional hernias (a type of ventral hernia), including minimally invasive procedures such as laparoscopic ventral hernia repair.
Using a miniature videoscope attached to a camera, the surgeons view the hernia from the inside. A few small incisions (about ½ - 1 inch long) are made for the laparoscope and several instruments; all incisions are carefully chosen to avoid coming in contact with previously operated organs and scar tissue. By inserting hollow tubes into the abdomen, a surgeon can obtain a high-definition view of the hernia. The laparoscopes project real-time images onto a television screen, allowing a surgeon to see inside the abdomen without major incisions. In addition to serving as ports for the laparoscopes, the small incisions serve as the portals for the medical instruments that a surgeon will use to cover the hernia with a small piece of mesh and stitches so that it does not recur.
General anesthesia is used for all laparoscopic ventral hernia repairs. Patients are awoken immediately after the surgery is finished. Depending on the size of the hernia and the complexity of the surgery, patients either leave on the same day of the surgery or stay over in the hospital.
As in any operation, complications such as bleeding, infection, injury to the intestines, blood clots, or heart or lung problems may occur. Before surgery, your surgeon will recommend testing to determine if it is safe for you to have the procedure. A recurrence of the hernia is a late, but rare, complication.
Following Your Surgery
Postoperative recovery depends on the size and difficulty of the hernia repair. Pain is controlled by pain medications prescribed to you on discharge from the hospital. You will be able to walk after the surgery, though you will usually need about three weeks after surgery before restarting heavy physical activity. Patients usually take 1-2 weeks off from work after a laparoscopic ventral/incisional hernia repair.
The Aufses Division of General Surgery
5 East 98th Street, 14th Floor
New York, NY 10029
Celia Divino, MD, discusses hernia facts and treatments. Learn more