There are several different techniques used in hernia repair. The surgeons of the Pacific Northwest Hernia Center have expertise in all of these techniques. Your surgeon will discuss these techniques with you and use the technique best suited for your situation.
Inguinal Hernia (Groin)
Open Repairs- a small incision is made in the groin and the repair is performed from the “front”. This is typically outpatient surgery.
Laparoscopic Repairs- small incisions are made in the lower abdomen and the repair is made from the “inside”. This is typically outpatient surgery.
Play the video below to see an example of open hernia repair versus laparoscopic.
Ventral Hernia (Abdominal)
Open Repairs- a small incision is made above the hernia and the repair is performed from the “front”. This is usually outpatient surgery for smaller hernias and inpatient for larger hernias.
Laparoscopic Repairs - small incisions are made in the abdomen and the repair is made from the “inside”. This is usually outpatient surgery for smaller hernias and inpatient for larger hernias.
Complex Ventral Hernia Repairs (Abdominal Wall Reconstruction)
Some patients will have hernias which require advanced techniques to repair. Very large or multiple hernias are often challenging to repair. Hernias associated with infection risk (obesity, diabetes, smoking, prior wound infection, etc.) are also complex.
A technique referred to as "component separation" is used for larger and more complex hernias. The hernia is repaired by moving the patient's own muscle and abdominal tissue together to repair the hernia. The hernia is repaired by closing the defect with the patient's own tissue and a mesh is used to reinforce the repair. This leads to a more functional long term repair. This technique requires inpatient surgery.
Hernia repairs were traditionally performed using a series of sutures to close the hernia opening. This type of repair has a very high failure rate and has been abandoned by most hernia repair experts. Modern hernia repairs use a reinforcing “mesh” to give the repair strength and durability. Mesh comes in two broad categories: synthetic and biologic.
Synthetic mesh is made from a variety of products including sterile plastics, gortex and polyester. These are permanent implants that the body incorporates into the repair. Biologic mesh is derived from animal and human collagen tissue. These products are incorporated into the repair and are slowly remodeled into the patients own tissue.