Open Hernia Surgery Vs Laparoscopic Surgery

Need to get a hernia repair done? You may have pondered what the difference is between the main types of surgery – open hernia surgery and laparoscopy. Or perhaps you are familiar with the procedure but are wondering which one is better.

In this blog, we address these common questions about surgery to treat a hernia.

The differences between open hernia surgery and laparoscopic surgery

While they are both common types of hernia surgery, open hernia surgery is a more traditional form, and laparoscopic surgery is a more modern technique. It should be noted that no one approach is ideal for every patient – certain types of hernia may be more suited to a particular kind of surgery. There are also factors such as the location and size to take into account.

Open Hernia Surgery

Open hernia surgery involves opening the fat and skin over a hernia and placing a small mesh underneath the hole in the muscle wall. The incision over the repair site is then closed. Open surgery can be used for several different types of hernia, including inguinal, incisional umbilical, sports and ventral.

Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparoscopic surgery can be suitable for recurrent hernias, bilateral inguinal hernias and large ventral hernias. The procedure typically involves a small (1 to 2 cm) incision at the belly button, with two even smaller punctures under the umbilicus. The belly button incision enables a tiny camera to view the inside of the stomach, while the other two punctures are used to insert operating tools. After the hernia is pulled back into the abdomen from the hole in the muscle wall a small mesh can be placed under the muscle in order to reinforce this defect area.

Waist up portrait of female medical worker in protective mask standing near table with surgical tools. Surgeon and his assistant on blurred background

What are the benefits of open hernia surgery and laparoscopic surgery?

In some cases, the type of hernia surgery which is chosen can come down to the type of hernia which needs to be treated. For example, some surgeons favour open hernia surgery to treat unilateral hernias, with laparoscopic surgery being preferred for bilateral hernias. It should also be noted that in terms of the effectiveness of the procedure in preventing recurrence, they are considered equal based on the latest research.

There are, however, other factors in play. In general, the commonly cited advantage of open hernia surgery over laparoscopic surgery is typically a lower cost. There are cases in which a surgeon may recommend open hernia surgery for those who are at increased risk from general anaesthesia which is used for laparoscopic surgery because open surgery can use a local anaesthetic.

In contrast, there are several advantages associated with laparoscopic surgery. These include there being less pain following a laparoscopic procedure, and that people who undergo this type of laparoscopic surgery can usually return to work quicker. This quicker recovery should be seen in the context of a few days or weeks, rather than a longer time period. It should also be remembered that recovery time varies from person to person and that people react to the two procedures differently.

Because of the shorter recovery time which can be enabled by the laparoscopic procedure, a swifter return to normal activities can also be expected. This can be preferable when returning to work, and also for professional and amateur sportspeople who want to resume training as quickly as possible.

Mr Achal Khanna is an expert in laparoscopic surgery and is highly experienced in performing this keyhole technique. Do you have any questions on private hernia treatment from Mr Achal Khanna? Call our friendly team today on 01908 305 127 for more information, or to book a consultation.