I had the good fortune to attend the 2023 edition of the Hernia Surgery Summit (https://herniasummit.com/) which is an annual conference with world-renown faculty discussing all things that are hernia related. This ranges from the latest trends and exciting innovations in hernia repair to thorough review of the most established treatments highlighting their proven outcomes. Each year this meeting assembles some of the foremost hernia surgeons from around the world, creating an educational event that allows the international surgical community to share best practices with each other both in the conference center and on the slopes. Several of my colleagues compiled some key points that were reviewed:
- With modern hernia repair techniques, there is no need for a set weight lifting limit or restrictions on activities. Patient's activity should be limited by their post operative discomfort and will vary from individual to individual.
- In women of child-bearing age, options other than permanent mesh should be considered. This may include non-mesh repairs or use of an absorbable mesh.
- Chronic pain after an inguinal hernia repair is a very rare complication that has been noted even before mesh repairs were common. A keen understanding of abdominal wall nerve anatomy and meticulous technique is required to minimize this problem and should occur in less than 0.5% of patients.
- Smoking even 1 cigarrette in the 4 weeks prior to surgery adversely affects blood flow to healing tissues and increases the risk of serious complications.
- Abdominal wall reconstruction with the robotic surgical platform is becoming widespread throughout the world. These complex techniques require adoption in a responsible manner to prevent surgical complications. Adequate training and mentorship is essential to obtain the best outcomes for patients.
In the next months, I will be able to share further educational material regarding hernias and hernia surgery with insights from expert hernia surgeons from around the world.
Sabrina Drexel, MD, FACS Lucian Panait, MD, MBA Hector A. Valenzuela Alpuche Ray Sheppard Jr, MD
Northwest Hernia Center Minnesota Hernia Center Dr. Hernia Dr. Ray Sheppard Jr