Hernia and Gallbladder Surgery

The most common surgical procedures performed in the abdomen are hernia repair and cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal). These procedures are most often performed using minimally invasive approaches on an outpatient basis. This usually means less pain and quicker recovery for patients.

Hernia repair

Hernias can occur in many places, including the abdomen, groin, diaphragm (muscle dividing the chest and abdominal cavities) and at the site of a previous abdominal incision. Based on the severity of the hernia and the symptoms it is causing, it may need to be surgically repaired. Adults with ongoing symptoms and most children usually undergo elective surgery to prevent the possible complication of a strangulated hernia in the future. An incarcerated or strangulated hernia may require emergency surgery.

There are two main types of surgery for hernia repair:

  • Open repair: A larger incision is made through the skin directly overlying the hernia. The surgeon then repairs the tear, effectively closing the hole.
  • Laparoscopic repair: This type of surgery requires a few small incisions and the use of a laparoscope (a thin scope with a tiny camera). The surgeon uses the laparoscope to help repair the hernia. There is usually much less pain with this type of repair, resulting in a much faster recovery time.

With both open and laparoscopic approaches, the tear is repaired by placing in a mesh patch to plug the hole. In open surgery, the mesh is placed over the hole. In laparoscopic surgery, the mesh is placed under the abdominal wall.

The type of repair procedure performed will be determined by your surgeon based on your age, overall health, and medical history; the extent of the hernia; your tolerance for the specific procedure; and your own preference.

Beaumont’s surgeons have extensive experience with both open and laparoscopic hernia repair. They will carefully evaluate your condition to determine the optimal treatment plan for you.

Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal)

Cholecystectomy is the surgical removal of the gallbladder, an organ located just under the liver in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen. The gallbladder stores and concentrates bile, a substance produced by the liver and used to break down fat for digestion.

The gallbladder is typically removed in one of two ways:

  • Open surgery: In this method, a larger incision is made in the right upper part of the abdomen, just under the rib cage. The surgeon must cut through muscle layers to get to the gallbladder in order to remove it.
  • Laparoscopic surgery: This type of surgery requires four small incisions and the use of a laparoscope. The surgeon performs the surgery while looking at video monitor.

A laparoscopic cholecystectomy is less invasive, less painful and generally requires a much shorter recovery time than an open cholecystectomy. On occasion, there may be circumstances, such as a severely inflamed gallbladder, that require conversion of a laparoscopic procedure to an open procedure in order to safely remove the gallbladder.

Robotic-assisted gallbladder removal

Beaumont surgeons offer robotic-assisted cholecystectomy, a new, innovative method for gallbladder removal. The procedure allows surgeons to use a high-tech robot to make more precise movements and 3D visualization of the anatomy. The surgery can be done using a single, one-inch incision through the belly button in less than one hour. Benefits of this approach may include minimal scarring, less pain, less bleeding and a faster recovery, enhancing quality and safety with improved patient satisfaction.

Surgeons from around the country visit Beaumont Hospital, Troy to train in robotic surgery with Bruce McIntosh, M.D., section head of general surgery at Beaumont, Troy. Because of his commitment to advancing robotic surgery techniques, Dr. McIntosh was recently designated as an Epicenter surgeon. The hospital is one of the top performing centers in the country for robotic surgery, and the only hospital in Michigan to serve as a General Surgery Epicenter site.