Laparoscopic and Open Inguinal Hernia Repair

What is Laparoscopic and Open Inguinal Hernia Repair?

proc2The weakening of abdominal muscles is the main cause of hernias. Hernia repair is a procedure that involves the insertion of a mesh to help strengthen the muscles by placing it over or under the hole in the muscle to prevent anything from coming through the abdominal wall. There are two types of inguinal hernia repair procedures: laparoscopic and open. The size, location and whether it is unilateral or bilateral will determine which type of repair is best for you.

Laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair involves several small incisions made to the stomach to allow ports, plastic tubes, to be inserted to allow a camera and the medical instruments through to perform the procedure and minimize recovery time and scarring. Open inguinal hernia repair is the more traditional procedure where we open up the skin and fat over the hernia with one larger incision without the need for a camera.

If possible, this treatment will be done robotically. The benefits are less pain and less tissue manipulation. For more information, please visit

Your Initial Consultation

Before your procedure, we will undergo necessary advising to assure a safe and successful procedure. We will provide feedback for any concern you may have about the procedure. You will need to take several tests, which will include blood tests, x-rays and ultrasounds of the hernia. At this time, you will need to inform us of any medicines, vitamins and other supplements you are currently taking.

We will ask you to stop taking aspirins and other specific drugs that can cause a higher risk of excess bleeding during your surgery and recovery period. We will also advise you to prepare your home to allow the best mobility for you and safest environment to allow a proper and quick recovery.

The Surgical Procedures

Steps for laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair:

  • Anesthesia will be administered to put you to sleep throughout the entire procedure
  • Three small incisions are made into the abdomen to give access to the ports, two for the instruments and one for the camera
  • A medical balloon is placed inside to separate the lining of the abdomen from the overlying muscle to allow space for the camera to view the hernia
  • Using special instruments, we will pull back the hernia into the abdomen from the hole in the muscle
  • A small mesh will be placed under the muscle to reinforce and strengthen it.
  • The incisions are then closed up and the procedure is finished.

Steps for open inguinal repair:

  • Anesthesia is administered to put you to sleep throughout the entire procedure
  • One larger incision, in comparison to the laparoscopic method, is made over the hernia and the skin and fat are opened and pulled back
  • We then locate the hernia and pull it back into the hole in the muscle
  • A dual sided mesh is then placed to reinforce the defected hernia and the muscle around the hole
  • The dual mesh is made to treat both the inside and outside of the hole unlike laparoscopic surgery where only an inner layer mesh is used.
  • The incision is then closed up, stitched and the procedure is finished.

Recovery Expectations:

The laparoscopic procedure allows for a faster recovery period and smaller scarring in comparison to the open procedure. However, with both procedures patients can resume normal activities within a week such as returning to work and driving. Within 3 to 4 weeks post procedure, patients may be able to return to more rigorous activities such as heavy lifting and exercise. We encourage you to walk during your recovery and avoid staying immobile for long periods of time.

Schedule your Consultation

If you would like to meet with Dr. Shah to discuss your options, please contact our practice today. Dr. Shah will be happy to answer your questions.

Give us a call today!