Inguinal hernias are the most common type of hernia encountered. They occur in women, but occur more commonly in males. About 1 in 4 males will have an inguinal hernia at some point in their lifetime. The testicle descending from the abdomen into the scrotum predisposes males to have a natural weakness in the groin where inguinal hernias occur.
The inguinal canal contains the spermatic cord traveling from the testicle. Before birth, testicles are formed in the abdomen and descend through the inguinal canal. This creates a natural weakness in the abdominal wall where inguinal hernias may form. Inguinal hernias usually begin as a painless bulge in the groin that becomes larger with standing or activity and improves when lying down.
An inguinal hernia may contain intestine and the intestine may become trapped, also known as strangulated. A strangulated hernia is a surgical emergency that may result in dead intestine and require resection of that portion of the small intestine.
In most circumstances, nothing more than a physical exam is required to diagnose an inguinal hernia. In more complex cases or cases of recurrent hernias it may be necessary to obtain an ultrasound or CT scan
Many studies have shown the cost benefit of laparoscopic surgery over open repair. This is especially true with bilateral inguinal hernias (hernias in both groins). Patients are shown to take less time off work and less loss of wages when laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair is compared to open.
Dr. Glover employs a tackless technique for laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair, thereby minimizing immediate post-operative pain as well as chances of chronic pain. Tacks can be the source of post-operative and chronic pain. Minimizing post-operative pain lessens the need for opiate pain medicine.
It is often said that no surgeon truly knows his own hernia recurrence rate. How do you know what you are doing is working if you're not keeping track?
The Americas Hernia Society aims to fix just that with the Americas Hernia Society Quality Collaborative or AHSQC. The quality collaborative is a database created by hernia surgeons that enables them to keep track of their performance, patient outcomes and complications. It also allows us to come together to pool our data to add significance and meaning to the numbers.
It is not research and nothing we do is experimental. It is merely a tool to make good surgeons better.
Participating in the AHSQC is completely optional with no obligation. There is no requirement to participate in order to have your hernia repaired.