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If a weakness or an opening in the abdominal wall leads to a sac-like protrusion of organs in the abdominal cavity or to pain in this area, this is called an abdominal wall rupture (hernia).


Depending on the location, an inguinal hernia, an umbilical hernia or an incisional hernia (cicatrix hernia - in the area of post-operative scars) can occur.


In some cases, a section of the intestine can become trapped (incarcerated hernia). This often life-threatening condition can only be treated by emergency surgery and, under certain circumstances, by removing the affected intestinal section.


The most promising therapy for a hernia is surgery. The contents of the hernia sac (usually a section of the intestine) are shifted back into the abdominal cavity and the opening in the abdominal wall is closed (usually by inserting a plastic net).

Lichtenstein technique

The hernia is treated by implanting a plastic net using tension-free suturing technique. This operation can also only be performed under local anaesthesia plus sedation (without general anaesthesia).


Laparoscopic hernia surgery (TAPP)

The plastic net is implanted using a minimally invasive access through the abdominal cavity (“buttonhole technique”). This operation always takes place under general anaesthesia and is mainly used for bilateral ruptures and recurrent hernias. It is also the method of choice for very overweight patients and patients with poor wound healing.


Shouldice technique

The hernial orifice is closed using the body's own tissue if there are reasons to believe that the use of foreign material is impossible.

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