Bulging hernias are one of the more serious types of hernias that there are. The surgery to repair this is not simply by any means, and it requires a lengthy rehabilitation. Now, there is some hope for those who need this surgery. There is a new method for repairing this type of hernia that focuses on repairing the stomach muscles. This type of operation will require a skilled surgeon, but it will greatly reduce the chance of a future recurrence.
Bulging Hernia Are Hard to Fix
The problem with the prevailing bulging hernia surgery is that it merely patches the abdominal muscles. In other words, it simply fixes the problem enough that it temporarily goes away. This leaves the patient vulnerable to a recurrence of the hernia. This is a common problem with many hernias that requires a patient to undergo follow-up surgeries. It could also leave them with pain after the first surgery when the problem returns. Usually, when the hernia returns, it comes back even worse than the first time.
When it comes to hernias, there are different gradations of severity. One type of hernia is a bulging hernia that happens at the site of a surgical incision. The abdominal muscles weaken and then organs then push through, causing a bulge at the skin. This type of hernia can happen naturally, but many of them happen after surgery. This can be the result of a failed hernia operation. Roughly 15 percent of patients will develop a bulging hernia after abdominal surgery.
Bulging Hernias Range from Minor to Serious
While the name “bulging hernia” sounds like it involves intense discomfort, some of these problems are actually minor in scope. However, some bulging hernias can have serious ramifications for the patient. Many of these hernias start out as small and grow to be worse over time as a small weakening can eventually cause the muscle to give way entirely.
In some cases, the intestine can end up pushing out of the skin. In a large bulging hernia, the bowels can be blocked, putting the patient’s life in jeopardy. However, there have not been many effective interventions for bulging hernias that were available. Sometimes, surgeons would just place a piece of mesh over the hernia in the hopes of constraining it. However, the mesh was rarely effective for this type of hernia. In other cases, patients were told to wear tight clothing to hold in the hernia. Either way, there was little hope that those who suffered from this hernia could obtain relief.
There Is a New Surgical Method
Now, there is some hope for those who have bulging hernias, albeit through a method that could set them up for future side effects. There is now a surgical procedure that is being used to fix bulging hernias. While the surgical procedure is complicated, at least it can repair the hernia. The new procedure is aimed at rebuilding and strengthening the abdomen to keep the hernia from returning. What this surgery does is that it largely disassembles the abdomen before putting it back together. The surgeon will cut apart each layer of the abdominal wall before reassembling them. This is otherwise known as abdominal reconstruction.
Before the surgery, the patient is put under general anesthesia. The surgeon will start by making a long incision in the abdomen. After that, the surgeon will then put the hernia back inside the patient and go to work on rebuilding the abdomen. The surgeon will release the deepest level of the abdominal wall so they can move the other two layers. The abdominal wall is moved closer to where the hernia is so that the wall can now keep the bulge inside the body. The wall needs to be strengthened to hold in the hernia. To do so, the surgeon will use hernia mesh and place it behind the abdominal wall to provide support.
The procedure will usually take about three hours. However, it can take longer depending on the complexity of the hernia. Since this is a complicated procedure that involves a large incision, the patient can be kept in the hospital for up to a week. The patient will then need an additional six weeks to recover at home and will need to wear a corset during this time. Some patients have reported that the surgery has been successful and that it has improved their quality of life. One patient has claimed that this procedure took ten inches off of his waist and has now allowed him to fit into clothing. Since this procedure is new, more evidence will be needed to see how successful it is for a wider group of patients.
This Surgery Still Uses Hernia Mesh
However, the problem with this new type of hernia surgery is that it relies on the use of hernia mesh. Given the location of the hernia mesh, it may be extremely difficult to remove the hernia mesh if it frays or disintegrates. In many cases, hernia mesh has been known to do this, and the consequences for patients include pain and repeated surgeries that may not even be able to remove the mesh. Even if this surgical method is effective at fixing the hernia, it may still leave the patient with the equivalent of a ticking time bomb inside their bodies as they still have hernia mesh.
Since the hernia mesh is located behind the abdominal wall, the patient is vulnerable to serious complications if the mesh fails. Hernia mesh has failed in up to 12 percent of surgeries so there is a chance that patients can suffer lifelong consequences from this particular surgery if it is not successful. The location where this hernia mesh is inserted makes it even more precarious. However, when faced with a choice of continuing to suffer from a bulging hernia or accepting a 10-15% chance of complications from the hernia mesh, many patients would likely take their chances that the hernia mesh will not fail.
One possible alternative here to make this type of procedure safer is to use hernia mesh made out of cos tissue. This mesh will eventually degrade once the muscles have strengthened around it. In other words, it is designed to last long enough to allow the muscles to rebuild but it does not end up disintegrating in the body. However, surgeons opt for synthetic hernia mesh notwithstanding its risks due to cost.