Hernia repair has been around for a long time. That means traditional techniques have been perfected while alternative options and materials have been developed. While not every technique is right for every hernia, they all have common goals: to provide the strongest repair and least chance of recurrence with the minimal discomfort and quick recovery.
Here is what an open tension repair means:
This method has been used historically and may be the only way to repair a very large hernia. The incision could potentially cause pain and recovery can take as long as five to six weeks. The incision also leaves a scar, although it’s usually very low on the abdomen. Tension repair has a higher recurrence rate than non-tension, or mesh, repair.
Non-tension means just that. Instead of pulling the tissue around the hernia together, a piece of mesh is positioned to reinforce the area and fixed in place with sutures and/or staples.
The mesh is made of a flexible material that stays in the abdomen and encourages new tissue to grow into it.
There are different kinds of mesh, including patches, three-dimensional, expanding, self-absorbing, and even self-gripping mesh that requires few to no sutures to keep it in place.
Many inguinal hernias can be repaired using a laparoscopic procedure. Laparoscopic repair entails inserting special instruments through tiny incisions in the abdomen through which the surgeon is able to visualise and perform the procedure. Laparoscopic repair uses mesh for reinforcement, so it has a lower recurrence rate.1-6
A few days before surgery, your surgeon may order a pre-op exam consisting of blood tests, an EKG (electrocardiogram), and a chest X-ray to be sure your heart and lungs are in good condition. You may be instructed to stop taking some over-the-counter medications for a week to 10 days before surgery, such as aspirin or ibuprofen which can increase bleeding. Make sure your surgeon knows all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you take, including natural or nutritional supplements. You may also be given a prescription for pain medication to take after surgery, in case you need it. Fill the prescription before your surgery in case you need the medication after.
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