There are two techniques that can be used in a hernia operation by keyhole surgery. Both are carried out under a general anaesthetic:
- Totally extraperitoneal (TEP)
- Transabdominal preperitoneal (TAPP).
In a TAPP repair, your surgeon does the hernia operation from within your abdomen. In TEP, the whole hernia operation is done within the layers of the abdominal wall. The cuts on your skin are closed with dissolvable stitches.
During the operation three small cuts (about 1 to 2cm long) will be made on your lower abdomen. The surgeon will pass a tube-like telescopic camera (called a laparoscope) through one of the cuts to view your hernia on a monitor. Once the hernia has been repaired a sheet of synthetic (artificial) mesh is put over the weakness in the abdominal wall to help strengthen it and prevent the possibility of the hernia happening in the future.
There is a chance your surgeon may need to opt to perform the repair using open surgery instead of Keyhole. This is only done if the surgeon is unable to complete the operation safely using keyhole surgery.
Open surgery hernia repairs can be done under general or local anaesthetic. During the operation your surgeon will make a single cut (about 5 to 10cm long) on your lower abdomen and push the contents of the hernia back into place. A synthetic mesh will then be put in place over the weak spot to help strengthen the wall of the abdomen. The cut on your skin is then stitched to hold it together with dissolvable stitches.