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Laparoscopic umbilical hernia repair

What is an umbilical hernia repair?

A laparoscopic umbilical hernia repair is a common surgery done to repair bulging tissues, causing a bulge or pouch near the belly button, back into their place by reinforcing the defect in the abdominal wall. Dr. Noorbhai does this surgery using minimally invasive surgical techniques as opposed to traditional open surgery when the hernia is relatively small.

How is an umbilical hernia repair done?

Once under general anaesthesia, a laparoscope, which is a narrow tube with a camera, will be inserted through a small incision in the lower abdomen allowing your surgeon to view the internal organs on a screen. Through other thin tubes, narrow tools are inserted to delicately push the bulging intestine back into place and use synthetic mesh to reinforce the abdominal wall. Finally, your surgeon will close the puncture-like incisions with absorbable stitches or surgical staples.

Why would an umbilical hernia repair be done?

An umbilical hernia repair surgery is done when the hernia is causing nerve pain and discomfort in daily life. A hernia may also become dangerous if strangulation of the blood flow to a hernia occurs. Whether or not the repair can be done with laparoscopic surgery or open surgery will depend on the size and severity of your hernia.

How long will I be in hospital?

Most laparoscopic repair patients are able to go home on the same day as surgery. How soon you will be discharged from hospital depends on whether you are able to drink liquids when waking up, how much pain you have and whether you have someone to look after you at home.

What will happen after laparoscopic surgery?

These surgeries usually allow the patient to go home after a few hours of observation. Following a laparoscopic umbilical hernia repair you may experience the following:

  • Pain in your abdomen.
  • Constipation, diarrhea or gas
  • Pain when coughing, sneezing or laughing.
  • Red skin around your wounds.

All these symptoms are normal and are nothing to be concerned about. You will be instructed how to look after your incisions. Re-consult if you have an unusually high temperature, chills, vomiting, swelling around the incisions, bleeding, you are experiencing excessive pain or cramping of the stomach muscles as emergency care may be needed. Approximately 3 weeks after your operation you will be seen by your surgeon to check your wounds.

How soon after the surgery can I resume normal activities?

You will be able to resume normal activities soon after your surgery; however, it is important to start slowly. If you experience pain during a certain activities, stop that activity. You may not do any heavy lifting or vigorous physical activity for at least 4 weeks after your laparoscopic procedure. You may return to physical exercise only once you have been to your follow-up consult, 3 weeks after surgery. It may take up to 6 weeks for a full recovery.

What are the potential risks and complications a laparoscopic umbilical hernia repair?

The risk of complications during laparoscopic surgery is very low, however, there are risks involved in any surgery and the following complications can occur:

  • Infection of the wound or internal infection.
  • Hernia reoccurrence is rare but may occur.
  • Bleeding.
  • A painful scar.
  • Damage to the adjacent organs such as intestine, bladder, reproductive organs and nerves.
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or blood clots.
  • Risks from general anaesthetic.
endoscopic and-laparoscopic surgery
endoscopic and-laparoscopic procedures

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