A patient develops a hernia when one of his organs protrudes through the cavity in which it is enclosed. Several types of hernias are common, including the hiatal hernia and the iguinal hernia.
All corrective hernia surgeries proceed from the understanding that the torn muscle tissue has to be repaired and the protruding organ pushed back into place. There are, however, several ways in which this can be done, and all hernia repair procedures are divided up into two categories: tension suture repairs and tension free repairs.
Tension suture repairs are the older, more traditional, ways in which hernias are treated, and they involve stitching the muscle closed. These methods were, however, found to be ultimately unsatisfactory as they placed the muscles under an unacceptable level of stress.
The tension free repairs comprise closing the hole in the muscle tissue with a piece of surgical mesh, and there are three basic tension free repair strategies. Laparoscopic hernia repair is a minimally invasive technique whereby the mesh is placed on top of the muscle defect, and, while the Lichtenstein Repair also places the mesh on top of the defect, the surgery is performed under a local anesthetic through a 4″ incision. The tension free mesh technique, however, uses a 2″ incision and places the mesh through the hole in the muscle tissue where it is able to repair the tear from the inside.
If no side effects develop, a patient can leave the hospital on the day of the surgery and will be able to return to normal life within a week or two of being discharged. Strenuous exercise is, however, not recommended during the recovery period. A hernia repair can cost anything from $6,000 to $14,000 depending on the exact procedure used as well as the procedure’s level of difficulty.