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Hernias can occur at the following sites:


  • In the groin area (inguinal and femoral)

  • at the navel (umbilical)

  • in the midline below the breast bone (epigastric), or

  • at the site of a previous operation (incisional)


The surgery is performed through several small incisions in the abdomen. A laparoscope is inserted through a small incision in the navel.

Carbon dioxide gas is blown into the abdominal cavity, or the space between the muscles and the peritoneum, to lift the abdominal wall. The aim is to improve the surgeons view of, and access to the area.

The surgeon clears away tissue around the hernia and withdraws the sac from the hole in the muscles. The hole is then covered with a plastic mesh patch. The tear in the abdominal wall is not stitched together. The patch is anchored to the muscles with special staples which stay in the body. The small incisions are closed with stitches or clips and protected with small dressings.


While recovering in hospital, you will have pain around the incision and will need pain relief. Swelling and bruising are common and in men may extend into the surrounding area.

Several hours after surgery, if you are not nauseous, you can drink water and eat a light meal. Your nurse will ask you to cough and breathe deeply to keep your lungs clear. You will be asked to take a short walk several hours after the surgery to assist circulation. This helps to prevent blood clots from forming in the legs.

You may have some discomfort in your right shoulder from the carbon dioxide used during surgery. Most people can go home the same day or the morning after surgery.

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