Hernias will not heal on their own. Surgery is required to repair a hernia.

As a patient, you have multiple treatment options. Learn more about the surgical options so that you can prepare to discuss them with your healthcare provider. 

Surgical Options in Hernia Repair

Multiple surgical approaches can be used to repair your hernia, including open surgical, laparoscopic, or robotic. Choosing the right one for you depends on your surgeon’s preference, your hernia type, and your unique situation.

Laparoscopic and robotic surgical repairs are minimally invasive, meaning only a small incision is required for a surgeon to be able to repair the hernia with instruments. An open surgery is the more traditional type of surgery in which a surgeon would make an incision at the site of the hernia.

Open Repair

An open repair is a traditional surgical method where an incision is made at the site of the hernia. If the surgeon uses mesh, it is then placed between layers of muscle.2 After repairing the hernia, the surgeon then sews the weakened area and closes the opening with stitches, staples, or surgical glue.3 Depending on your surgical history, such as if a previous surgery has caused scar tissue, doctors may opt for this more traditional approach.

Open repair surgeries may require more time to recover and may present more risks and complications compared to minimally invasive surgeries.4


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Laparoscopic Repair

Laparoscopic repairs are a type of minimally invasive surgery and require only small ‘keyhole’ incisions. These repairs use a small camera and tubes with specialized minimally invasive instruments.4 The abdomen may be inflated with carbon dioxide or a balloon to create space for the surgeon to work. Once the contents of the hernia are back to their natural position, a mesh is typically placed on the inner side of the gap to reinforce the weakened area of the abdominal wall.5

Minimally invasive surgery usually uses smaller surgical incisions, so patients may experience a faster hospital discharge and recovery following a laparoscopic repair compared to an open surgery.5,6


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Robotic Repair

Like laparoscopic repair, robotic hernia repair is a minimally invasive surgery requiring small ‘keyhole’ incisions. The surgeon uses surgical instruments, such as a camera, and controls the procedure from a specialized robotic console. Three-dimensional imaging from inside the body cavity is displayed to assist the surgeon in directing the surgical procedure. A mesh reinforcement patch is often implanted to provide support to the repair behind the abdominal wall.4,6,7

Minimally invasive surgery usually uses smaller surgical incisions, so patients may experience a faster hospital discharge and recovery following a robotic repair compared to an open surgery.1


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What is surgical mesh?

Surgical mesh is a medical device that provides additional support to weakened or damaged tissue. It acts as a base for the tissue to grow into. Depending on your hernia, your doctor could suggest a variety of types of mesh.

See Mesh Options

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