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Laparoscopic hernia repair speeds recovery, reduces pain

A hernia is a protrusion, or bulging, of part of an organ through the muscle wall that surrounds it. With each type, you’ll notice a bulge under the skin. You can get a hernia from heavy lifting, persistent sneezing or coughing, pregnancy, or constipation – usually in combination with a weak place in your abdominal muscle.

Novant Health surgeons can repair most hernias with minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery. During the laparoscopic hernia repair, three to five small incisions are made and a laparoscope, or tiny video camera, and surgical tools are inserted through these incisions to repair the hernia. Recovery time and pain are usually less with this procedure than with an open hernia repair, in which a larger incision is made and the herniated area is repaired with a prosthetic patch.

Types of hernias

Inguinal hernia – An inguinal hernia occurs in your groin area when a section of intestines pushes through a weak spot in the inguinal canal. You will usually notice a bulge in the groin area and you may feel pain when you cough, lift something heavy or bend over. Inguinal hernia operations are the most common type of surgery performed on children and teens.

Femoral hernia – The femoral hernia, more common in women, creates a noticeable bulge low in the groin area. This can be difficult to differentiate from the inguinal hernia.

Umbilical hernia – With the umbilical hernia, a noticeable bulge appears at the navel (umbilicus). An umbilical hernia in a child will typically close without surgery.

Epigastric hernia – The epigastric hernia appears as a noticeable bulge between the breast bone and the navel.

Incisional hernia – An incisional hernia appears anywhere on the abdominal wall at the site of an incision of a previous abdominal operation.