In the field of medicine, technological advancements have brought about remarkable changes in the surgical procedures, including that of hernia surgery. With a view to making the procedures safer, more efficient, and less invasive, hernia surgery has witnessed a significant role of technology. As a matter of fact, technology has been revolutionizing different facets of surgical procedures, and this article aims to explore precisely that.
What is Hernia Surgery and Why is Technology so Important?
Hernia is a medical condition in which there is bulging due to the extrusion of a body tissue or organ poking through a weak portion in the muscle wall. Such bulging can occur in varied body parts, such as the groin, belly button, or even the chest. Hernia surgery is an operative procedure intended to repair the hole in the muscle wall, thereby averting the protrusion of the organ or tissue once again. There exist different forms of hernia surgery based on various parameters like hernia's size and location, the surgeon's preference, and the patient's condition.
However, technology indeed plays a key role in hernia surgeries, and we will explain some of the reasons why:
- Technology enables surgeons to access a host of online resources like hernia surgery video tutorials, guidelines, and best practices. The improvement of skill and knowledge, as well as staying updated on the latest developments in the field, is inevitable with the resources readily available to the surgeons online.
- Medical students, surgeons, as well as patients and caregivers, find e-learning platforms a boon as they can access informative resources on the platform whereby they can learn about new procedures, potential risks, and postoperative care measures associated with hernia surgeries. It makes education and training relatively simple.
- Minimally-invasive techniques like laparoscopy or robotic surgery help decrease the pain, bleeding, infection, and even recovery time.
Technological Advancements in Hernia Surgery
The use of non-invasive procedures and technologies in hernia surgery has considerably boosted the confidence of patients in the dependability and efficacy of modern hernia surgeries. One such procedure is the Altemeier procedure, which has become safer and more effective, considering the use of state-of-the-art technology. Let's have a glance at some of the recently developed procedures:
Laparoscopic Hernia Repair
The laparoscopic hernia repair is a minimally invasive procedure where the hernia is repaired using small incisions, a camera, and specialized instruments. The laparoscope camera helps the surgeon see inside the abdomen and guide the instruments. The mesh is used to reinforce the abdominal wall, and the instruments are used to push the hernia back in. The procedure has numerous benefits over traditional open surgery, such as:
- Fewer scars and pain.
- Faster recovery and return to normal activities, with a reduced risk of infection or bleeding.
- Better cosmetic results with a reduced chance of damaging any surrounding tissues or organs.
Robotic-assisted surgery is a computer-guided technology that helps in the movements of surgical instruments. The robotic arms are controlled by a surgeon's console that guides the movements of the instruments. The console shows a high definition, magnified view of the surgical site on the screen.
Advantages of Robotic-Assisted Surgery
Robotic-assisted surgeries' benefits include:
- Greater accuracy and precision with enhanced dexterity and flexibility.
- Better visualization and access to the afflicted area with minimal trauma and blood loss.
- Lower pain and scarring, with faster recovery and fewer complications.
With higher degrees of freedom and instrument range of motion, robotic-assisted surgery can eliminate hand fatigue and tremors. It improves the surgeon's ergonomics and comfort, enabling them to perform complex and delicate procedures with ease
Other Minimally Invasive Techniques For Hernia Repair
While robotic-assisted surgery and laparoscopic surgeries remain some of the most common minimally invasive techniques used for hernia repair, they are not the only ones. Some of the others are:
Endoscopic Hernia Repair
An endoscope is used during this procedure to guide the placement of a mesh over the hernia defect. This thin tube has a camera and light and can be inserted into the belly button or a small incision near the groin to observe.
Laser Hernia Repair
During laser hernia repair, a beam of light or a laser is used to produce small holes around the abdominal wall weak point. The holes encourage the growth of new tissue that strengthens the abdominal wall, reducing the chance of a recurrence of the hernia.
Radiofrequency Hernia Repair
Radiofrequency energy is delivered through a catheter, inserted through a slight incision near the groin, to tighten and shrink tissue around the hernia. High-frequency electrical currents cause the shrinking of the tissue.
Cryoablation Hernia Repair
Cryoablation (extreme cold) through a probe (a thin needle) inserted through the skin near the groin is used to destroy the nerve endings that cause pain in the hernia area.
As we have seen, technology continually improves, offering patients undergoing hernia surgery results that are safer, more effective and with shorter recovery times. Although robotic-assisted surgery, laparoscopic surgery, laser hernia repair, endoscopic hernia repair, cryoablation hernia repair, and radiofrequency hernia repair are some of the common minimally invasive techniques used for hernia repair, technology advances at a rapid pace, and exciting new procedures are expected to emerge shortly. Medical technology advances continue to push the boundaries to offer us the best surgical procedures yet.