Hernia repair (also referred to as herniorrhaphy or hernioplasty) refers to a surgical operation for the correction of a hernia — a bulging of internal organs or tissues through the wall that contains it. This operation may be performed to correct hernias of the abdomen, groin, diaphragm, brain, or at the site of a previous operation.
The first differentiating factor in hernia repair is whether the surgery is done open, or laparoscopically. Open hernia repair is when an incision is made in the skin directly over the hernia. Laparoscopic hernia repair is when minimally invasive cameras and equipment are used and the hernia is repaired with only small incisions adjacent to the hernia. These techniques are similar to the techniques used in laparoscopic gallbladder surgery.
An operation in which the hernia sac is removed without any repair of the inguinal canal is described as a herniotomy. When herniotomy is combined with a reinforced repair of the posterior inguinal canal wall with autogenous (patient’s own tissue) or heterogeneous material such as prolene mesh, it is termed hernioplasty as opposed to herniorrhaphy, in which no autogenous or heterogeneous material is used for reinforcement.