Which is Better Laparoscopy or Open Surgery for Hernia Repair

Which is better Laparoscopy or Open surgery for Hernia Repair

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Laparoscopy or open surgery? If you have visited a hernia surgeon to treat your hernia, you might have heard them ask you this question.

There will usually be no confusion if there is only one treatment option for an ailment. But if there is more than one option, you might be confused over which one is best suitable for your condition.

So, to make things easier for you, we have discussed both open and laparoscopic surgeries in detail in this article. Read it till the end before deciding on which to undergo.

Which surgery is better for hernia Repair, laparoscopy or open surgery?

Before getting on to which surgery method is best, understand that both laparoscopic and open surgeries are standard approaches to treating hernia. Your hernia and body condition determine which will be the best option for you.

After assessing your condition, your hernia surgeon will mostly suggest a surgery option. Some factors they might consider while choosing the surgery method for you are

  • Your age
  • The type, size, and location of your hernia
  • If you have had previous failed hernia surgeries,
  • If your abdominal muscles (or muscles near the hernia site) are strong or weak, and
  • Your overall health condition.

To better understand which option is best for you, you must first understand what each surgery means and what

Understanding Both surgical methods

Laparoscopic surgery

A laparoscopic surgery is a modern approach to treating hernia. In this procedure, your surgeon will make multiple small incisions around the hernia site.

A laparoscope (a thin tube with a camera) and other surgical instruments are inserted into the incision to repair the hernia. The camera shows the inside of the abdomen, and your surgeon will hold the instruments and treat your hernia from the outside.

Open surgery

An open surgery is a traditional approach to hernia repair. Here, one big incision is made near the hernia site. Your skin and muscle layer are opened, and the hernia is pushed back into its original position. The incision is then stitched back together. This is the most common method used for hernia surgery.

What are the major differences between laparoscopy and open surgery?

The main difference between the two surgical methods is how the surgery is performed. As we saw above, laparoscopic surgery involves making small incisions and inserting instruments into your abdomen to repair the hernia.

On the other hand, open surgery requires making one big incision to open your muscles and repair the hernia. Below are some of the key differences between laparoscopic and open hernias.


Laparoscopic surgeryOpen surgery
The surgeon operates your hernia using instrumentsThe surgeon opens your muscles and operates the hernia manually
The hernia is operated with the assistance of 2D images provided by the cameraThe surgeon has a direct view of your hernia
Recovery time is shorterRecovery time is longer
Risks of bleeding and infection are minimalHigh risk of bleeding and infections

What are the advantages of Laparoscopic and open surgery?

Below are the advantages of both laparoscopic and open surgeries.


Advantages of Laparoscopic surgeryAdvantages of Open surgery
Minimally invasive surgeryLess expensive than laparoscopic surgeries
Shorter recovery time and less pain after surgeryThe most commonly performed surgical procedure
Lower risks of bleeding and infectionsDoes not require any special machinery
Lesser risk of touching and disturbing the groin nervesQuick procedure and can be performed within an hour
 Can be performed under local or spinal anesthesia (a good option for high-risk patients)

What are the advantages of Laparoscopic and open surgery?

Below are the disadvantages of both laparoscopic and open surgeries.


Disadvantages of Laparoscopic surgeryDisadvantages of Open surgery
More expensive than open surgeriesAn invasive surgery that requires a large incision
Requires special laparoscopic machinery to perform the surgeryHigher risk of chronic groin pain after surgery
The machines may take time to set up. Not suitable for emergency patientsLonger recovery time than laparoscopic surgery
Performed under general anesthesia (not suitable for high-risk patients)There are risks of bleeding and infection

What are the other types of surgical Methods?

Another method that can be used to perform a hernia surgery is robotic hernia surgery. This is the latest technology procedure and is less risky than open and laparoscopic surgeries.

Robotic hernia surgery is almost similar to laparoscopic surgery in the way that both involve making small incisions near the hernia site and inserting surgical instruments to perform the surgery.

In laparoscopic surgery, your surgeon will hold the instruments and manually perform the surgery. In robotic surgery, however, the surgeon will sit in front of a computer and operate the instruments from the console room.

This method has fewer complications than both open & laparoscopic methods. However, it is more costly than the two, and the technology is available in only some highly advanced medical facilities in our country.


Both laparoscopic and open-surgery procedures can help you treat hernia. You need to take time and consider which method will suit your condition best.

Discuss with your hernia doctor and understand what each procedure entails before choosing one over the other.

Dr. K. Amilthan MBBS., MS., FMAS., FALS.

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