Laparoscopic Ventral Hernia Repair
Ventral hernia repairs are among the most frequently performed abdominal procedures. Ventral hernias can be divided to “primaries” which are usually located at the umbilicus and are not associated with a previous abdominal operation and “secondaries” which are always associated with a previous abdominal surgical procedure.
Symptoms and diagnosis
Ventral hernia may be asymptomatic and the only indication of their existence is the presence of a “lump” which can be transient or permanent. Occasionally the “lump” may be associated with pain and more rarely with intestinal obstruction. Diagnosis is usually made by clinical exam and on some instances a computed tomography may be required.
Procedure and postoperative course
Based on Professor Raftopoulos’ experience ventral hernia repair can be performed with open or laparoscopic technique. Dr. Raftopoulos will advise you which method may be best for you at the time of your consultation. In addition, depending on the size of the hernia, a prosthetic mesh may be required to reinforce the repair. Dr. Raftopoulos makes every effort to avoid the use of mesh and he will advise you if a mesh was required. Abdominal drains are usually placed for open ventral hernia repairs and may be kept in place for 1-2 weeks depending on their output. Ventral hernia repair is unfortunately associated with moderate or severe abdominal pain due to the extensive transabdominal suturing that is required. A period of 4-6 weeks is usually required for full recovery during which weight lifting > 5 kg should be avoided. Hospital stay can be one or more days depending on the size of the hernia.
Complications may include wound or mesh infection, abdominal wall seromas or hematomas (trapped fluid or blood between the abdominal wall layers) and accidental injury of visceral organs during lysis of adhesions. Deep wound or mesh infections may require in some instances even the removal of the mesh.
Professor Raftopoulos’ experience
Dr. Raftopoulos has extensive experience in ventral hernia repair. Professor Raftopoulos’ experience has been published in several peer reviewed US medical journals such as the Surgical Endoscopy, Journal of Laparoendoscopic Advanced techniques and Journal of the Society for Laparoendoscopic Surgery. Dr. Raftopoulos has a particular interest and experience in the repair of ventral hernias in morbidly obese patients. For more information please contact our office.