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Hernia Repair: Overview of Hernia Treatment
|Hernia repair operations are among the most common procedures performed today. In fact, about 750,000 hernia repairs are performed annually in this country. Unfortunately, results of the surgery vary so widely, both in terms of success rates and incidence of complications.
Most hernias result from a tear in the lining, or fascia, beneath the muscle layers, allowing the intestines to protrude. For inguinal hernias, this process begins at birth and is an inherited condition. While far more common in men, about 10% of cases are women.
It has been estimated that up to 20% of all abdominal surgery leads to the development of hernias through the surgical incision, refereed to as incisional hernias. These can become massive in size if not repaired.
Hernias affect people of all age groups from infants to seniors. Treatment is always surgical, as the hernias will continue to enlarge and risk strangulation, a potentially deadly complication.
Four different types of hernias account for almost all hernias seen by surgeons:
Traditional methods of hernia repair typically require a general anesthetic, a four to six week painful recovery and are associated with failure rates as high as 20%-30%, depending on the type of hernia. The Modified Shouldice Technique, developed at our clinic, is an outpatient procedure associated with only mild discomfort after surgery and permits full resumption of activities within two to three days. In most cases, a local anesthetic with intravenous sedation is used avoiding the need for general anesthesia.