What to Do When Hernia Repair Surgery Fails

A hernia occurs when the outer wall of the abdomen or groin allows the inner intestines to protrude through an opening, forming a bulge or sac. The most common type of hernia is the inguinal or groin hernia, most often found in males and often a birth defect. Traditional repair of the hernia involves stitching the opening after restoring the inner intestines or other material to their proper position. Failure of the operation makes a second repair more difficult, because of scarring and previous damage.

Surgeons operating on a patient (Image: kzenon/iStock/Getty Images)

Relocate Incision

After a hernia repair has failed, further repair should be approached differently, according to the British Hernia Centre. An incision must be made higher than before, to protect already damaged tissue and avoid cutting scar tissue.

Rear Approach

Instead of a frontal approach for repair, a rear approach for surgery must be made behind the weakened abdominal muscle. This avoids hurting already damaged areas, according to the British Hernia Centre.

Mesh Barrier

During surgery, an organically-compatible mesh material is applied from behind the abdominal wall, which is stitched in place to contain the tear and keep organs in place.

Healing Strengthens Repair

After the hernia is closed and contained by the mesh, healing of the opening is strengthened as tissue grows around and bonds with the mesh material.

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