What are my options if I had prostate surgery?

Many men will develop an inguinal hernia after a prostatectomy, or removal of the prostate. Repairing an inguinal hernia after prostate surgery can sometimes be very difficult. Because of the scarring from prostate surgery, the preperitoneal space is challenging to work in, making laparoscopic surgery for inguinal hernia after a prostatectomy is nearly impossible. Most surgeons prefer to use an open anterior approach, and some have started using an advanced laparoscopic platform marketed as “robotic” surgery. This platform may allow a surgeon to place a large piece of mesh under the abdominal muscles in the preperitoneal space, the preferred location.

As experts in open preperitoneal mesh repair, or open no mesh repair, we tailor our recommendations to each patient. We offer and are successful with the open preperitoneal repair in 80% of patients who have had a radical prostatectomy. Sometimes, we use a smaller mesh in these patients. Over the last 3 years we have started offering the Shouldice, no mesh, inguinal hernia operation. This is a suture only repair of an inguinal hernia from an anterior approach that can be performed safely and effectively in thinner patients. While the Shouldice repair is often our backup plan to the preperitoneal mesh for patients with a history of prostate surgery, many patients are now choosing this repair as their first choice, especially as it avoids all the scarring from the prior surgery. In patients who are overweight, and are therefore not good candidates for a no mesh repair, we offer the traditional anterior mesh repair as the backup plan to preperitoneal mesh. The decision between “Plan A”, the open preperitoneal mesh repair, and “Plan B”, the Shouldice repair or traditional anterior mesh repair, is made in the operating room and is dependent on the amount of scarring in the preperitoneal space.

To learn more about hernia surgery in general, check out our home page which included a link to a full length video of “Plan A”

This was written by Dr. Reinhorn

Dr. Michael Reinhorn is a specialist in inguinal hernia and umbilical hernia.  Dr. Reinhorn started his practice as a full service general surgeon in 2001. In 2012 Dr. Reinhorn started to focus on the care of hernia and pilonidal patients.   This focused practice has been designed to provid a superior clinical experience. Dr. Reinhorn has published his outcomes and continues to participate in hernia and surgery societies.  His research led to a reduction in opioid prescribing after hernia surgery. His team performs approximately 400 hernia surgeries every year.