A hernia operation is either be carried out through open surgery or by keyhole surgery. Each technique has advantages and disadvantages, and sometimes the patient will be allowed to choose what she would prefer.
Open hernia surgery involves one long incision in the hernia area, usually in the region of 5-6cm. This allows the surgeon to see and access the area to be treated. Keyhole surgery, other hand, involves making several tiny cuts to allow for the insertion of a laparoscope (a telescopic device with a light and camera) as well as the required surgical instruments. The laparoscope enables the surgeon to see exactly what he is doing, even although he hasn't actually opened the patient up.
A keyhole hernia operation tends to have a quicker recovery time and results in less pain after the operation. However, the risks of serious complications, such as accidental damaging the surrounding organs, is somewhat higher.
Repair of a recurrent hernia is often easier using laparoscopic techniques rather than open surgery. However, open surgery may allow the surgeon to carry out a more complete repair which may help prevent further recurrences.
The type of hernia procedure used may depend on the patient's age and well-being, the severity of the hernia, and the surgeon's proficiency at keyhole surgery. Some surgeons in NHS hospitals may not be experienced in keyhole surgery, and may simply prefer to perform open surgery.
However, if you would prefer one type of hernia operation over the other, don't be afraid to speak up. Remember, it's your body. But, at the same time, don't be too pushy. Your doctor will know what's best for you so respect his decision, even if you don't particularly like it.
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