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Back To Work After Hernia Repair: The Advantages of Minimally Invasive Surgery

Check out an article written by one of our General Surgeons, Dr. Chad Copper, M.D., FACS, published in Workplace Health Magazine.

"Hernias are one of the most common workplace injuries leading to time off work and worker’s compensation claims. More than 90 percent of these hernias are inguinal, or groin, hernias, and more than 95 percent occur in men. The only effective treatment for symptomatic inguinal hernia is surgery. With minimally invasive hernia surgery, patients are returning to work faster.

Traditionally, these hernias were repaired through an open incision in the groin. Patients were then out of work for 1-2 weeks and did not usually return to full activity for 6 weeks. However, minimally invasive surgery is changing that traditional norm.

The adoption of new technologies and techniques has challenged the practice of recommending a prolonged period of convalescence after hernia repair. Most patients can return to work within a few days of laparoscopic surgery and may return to normal activity without restriction in 2 weeks. Recommendations must be patientcentered and take into consideration both regular work activities and individual pain experience Laparoscopic surgery has been around since the 1980s, and laparoscopic hernia repair first began in the early ’90s. After 25 years of laparoscopic hernia repair, we have multiple large studies which have shown the advantages of this type of surgery.

Laparoscopic hernia repair uses very small incisions (5mm) to repair the hernia, or hole, in the abdominal wall. Mesh is placed in the abdominal wall, usually in between the muscle layers of the abdominal wall, to reinforce the repair. The natural outward pressure of the abdomen helps to keep the mesh in place and prevent recurrence of the hernia. With minimally invasive hernia repair, patients can expect less pain, faster recovery and fewer complications than with traditional “open” surgery. The risk of hernia recurrence may also be lower.

The surgeons at The Longstreet Clinic have over 50 years of combined experience in laparoscopic and minimally invasive hernia repair. They are trained in robotic hernia repair with the da Vinci® Surgical System, which holds much promise in being the next big advancement in hernias. Their surgical suites feature the area’s most advanced technology – including a state-ofthe-art HD video system that provides superb visualization during laparoscopic hernia surgical procedures. But even with all this technology, they never forget what’s most important: personalized care."

Our team of surgeons at The Longstreet Clinic, P.C. is one of the most experienced in the area. We look forward to sitting down with you to discuss the most effective course of care for your hernia repair. Contact us today!