Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgery Norwood
Prolene Hernia System (PHS) Treatment Norwood

Prolene Hernia System (PHS) Treatment Norwood Do you have questions about the surgical procedures, treatments or services that we offer?

Below is a list of some frequently asked questions, but please feel free to call our office at (781) 762-2600 if you need additional information. We are always pleased to assist you.

What is a hernia?
A hernia occurs when tissue or part of an organ, usually the intestines, protrudes through a weak point or tear in the abdominal wall, forming a sac. The protruding tissue may lose blood supply and become obstructed, resulting in health problems as serious as life-threatening gangrene.

What causes hernias?
Prolene Hernia System (PHS) Treatment Norwood Hernias may be caused at birth when the abdominal lining does not close properly (this occurs in about 5 in 100 children); or they may occur later in life from a number of causes, including heavy lifting. The exact cause is often unknown, although risk factors for developing a hernia seem to include:

Family history of hernias

  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Excess weight
  • Chronic cough
  • Chronic constipation from straining to have bowel movements
  • Enlarged prostate from straining to urinate
  • Undescended testicles

Where do hernias form?
Most hernias occur in the abdominal wall, either in the groin (inguinal, femoral) or navel (umbilical) or at surgical incision sites (incisional).

What are the symptoms?
Hernias usually cause pain in the groin or abdomen when lifting heavy objects, coughing or straining during urination or bowel movements. A tender or non-tender lump or bulge may also be apparent.

Are there tests to find hernias?
A doctor can confirm the presence of a hernia during a physical exam. The mass may increase in size when coughing, bending, lifting, or straining. The hernia (bulge) may not be obvious in infants and children, except when the child is crying or coughing.

How are hernias repaired?
Prolene Hernia System (PHS) Treatment Norwood Surgery is the only method to correct hernias. Among the most common procedures in the U.S., hernia surgery is performed to alleviate pain and to correct or prevent the occurrence of more serious problems. Surgery should be performed on any hernia, but it is especially recommended for patients with pain, who are at high risk for blockage such as large amounts of tissue protruding through a small hole, and whose lifestyles are hampered by the hernia.

What are my surgical options?

1. The most common hernia repair procedure is traditional (open or “tension-free”) surgery. Usually done with local anesthesia, a large, deep incision is made through the muscle. The tissue is pushed back behind the muscle, which is then stitched closed, and plastic mesh is placed over the former hole site for support. Full recovery takes a month to six weeks.

2. The more recent, minimally invasive technique of laparoscopy, done under general anesthesia, involves the creation of three small incisions in the abdomen, the injection of carbon dioxide gas to create a “work space” and the use of a laparoscope, a thin instrument with a camera on the end allowing the surgeon to see inside the patient’s body without the need for large incisions. Other necessary surgical instruments are employed through the other small incisions. This “transabdominal” method causes less trauma to the body, so post-operative pain is less and recovery is shorter (about a week) than with the open approach. Disadvantages include the risk of organ puncture.

3. In extra-peritoneal balloon laparoscopic hernia surgery, the “work space” is created with an inflatable balloon outside rather than inside the abdominal cavity. This reduces the risk of bowel and blood vessel perforation associated with regular laparoscopic surgery. General anesthesia is still required and recovery takes about a week.

4. The Prolene Hernia System (PHS) is the newest and most up-to-date "open" inguinal hernia repair. The PHS device combines an "underlay" patch that entirely covers the hernia prone area in the groin with an "overlay patch" that lies flat over the abdominal muscles. The two patches are connected which virtually eliminates the chance of mesh migrating, reduces discomfort, and greatly diminishes the risk of nerve damage. This 3-dimensional mesh provides a strong posterior repair similar to that of a laparoscopic repair and can be performed under local anesthesia as an outpatient.

Is there risk of complications?
As with any surgery, there is risk of bleeding, infection and allergic reaction to anesthesia. There is also the potential for abscess formation, organ or blood vessel injury and hernia recurrence (only 1-3%).


Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgery Norwood