Open surgery

It’s called ‘open’ because an incision is made in the skin,  over the place where the hernia is. It is about 6 cm long.

If you are having a local anaesthetic , it is the open operation that will be used.

I use lightweight mesh – and a ‘tension-free’ mesh repair.

The open mesh repair has a lot of advantages. It is relatively straightforward to carry out,  it is safe and has a very low chance of the hernia coming back. It can be can be carried out under a local anaesthetic.   I use it in almost all of my patients, whatever their age or medical condition, although it is ideal for elderly or medically unwell people.

A Californian surgeon, Irving Lichtenstein, developed and really popularised the open mesh repair, and obtained excellent results, so the basic form of the ‘tension-free’ repair is often called the Lichtenstein repair.

The keyhole surgeons say the open repair gives more early post-operative pain, but in my personal experience this is only by 2 or 3 days.

Ideally, find a surgeon who is happy to do it using local anaesthetic – it is an indicator that he is a fairly experienced hernia surgeon.