A hernia is a weakness or tear in the wall of the abdomen. When left untreated, this rupture can grow, causing serious complications such as allowing a loop of intestine to penetrate the abdominal wall. The intestine may become trapped and strangulated. This strangulation can cause gangrene or even death.
Signs of a hernia are easy to recognize. You may notice a bulge under the skin or experience pain when lifting heavy objects or coughing or during urination or bowel movements. If you are experiencing these symptoms see your doctor immediately. Hernias can be treated safely and effectively if detected in time.
Some hernias can now be repaired laparoscopically. Laparoscopic surgery requires two or three small incisions made near the navel and lower abdomen. A tiny camera called a laparoscope and operating tools are passed through these incisions allowing the surgeon to see and work inside the abdomen. The hernia is reinforced with a strong mesh that is stapled to the abdominal wall. The incisions are then closed and bandaged.
Laparoscopic surgery is less painful than conventional surgery, can be done on an outpatient basis and offers a quicker recovery time. However, laparoscopic surgery can only be used on certain types of hernias.
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