Many hernia surgeries are performed by the conventional “open” method, but some are performed laparoscopically. Dr. William H. Johnson and Dr. Christopher J. Hart are trained in laparoscopic procedures and use this technique when indicated. Laparoscopic ventral hernia surgery involves using a laparoscope, or Dr. William H. Johnson and Dr. Christopher J. Hart small telescope, to fix tears or openings in the abdominal wall. Small incisions are made and a patch of screen or mesh is used to reinforce the abdominal wall. For some patients, it offers a quicker return to work and normal activities with decreased pain.
A ventral hernia usually occurs in the abdominal wall where a previous surgical incision weakened it. A bulge forms where the tear occurred–not unlike the way an inner tube pushes through a damaged tire–the inner lining of the abdomen pushes through the weakened area of the abdominal wall to form a balloon-like sac. This can allow a loop of intestines or other abdominal contents to push into the sac. If the abdominal contents get stuck within the sac, they can become trapped or “incarcerated.” This could lead to potentially serious problems that might require emergency surgery. Other sites that ventral hernias can develop are the navel or any other area of the abdominal wall. A hernia does not get better over time. Surgery is the only way to repair it.
A hernia is usually recognized as a bulge under the skin. Sometimes the symptoms are mild to nonexistent or you may feel pain when lifting heavy objects, coughing, straining during urination or bowel movements, or with prolonged standing or sitting. A patient with a ventral hernia will feel discomfort or aching. Any continuous or severe discomfort, redness, nausea or vomiting associated with the bulge are signs that the hernia may be entrapped or strangulated. These symptoms are cause for concern and immediate contact of your physician or surgeon is recommended.
An incision in the abdominal wall will always be an area of potential weakness. Hernias can develop at these sites due to heavy straining, aging, obesity, injury or following an infection at that site following surgery. They can occur immediately following surgery or may not become apparent for years later. Anyone can get a hernia at any age. They are more common as we get older.
Johns Creek Surgery, PC located in Johns Creek, GA, attracts patients from all over the metro Atlanta area and beyond including Duluth, Alpharetta, Milton, Roswell, Gainesville, Canton, and Marietta, GA. Our board certified surgeons, Dr. Christopher Hart and Dr. William H. Johnson perform medical procedures or surgeries that do not require an overnight stay.