Herniorrhaphy and Hernioplasty: Types of Hernia Surgery and Procedure

types of hernia surgery

An organ or tissue protruding through a weak spot in the muscle or connective tissue is known as a hernia, a frequent medical problem. Surgical surgery is the most effective approach to treat hernias, and two main procedures—herniorrhaphy and hernioplasty—are often used. We will explore the specifics of the two different types of hernia surgery in this blog article, looking at their methods, parallels, and discrepancies to help you decide which hernia therapy could be ideal for you.

Understanding Herniorrhaphy - Repairing Weakened Areas

Herniorrhaphy is a traditional and time-tested surgical procedure for hernia repair. This technique involves the manual reduction of the herniated tissue followed by the closure of the weakened area through sutures or stitches. The objective is to strengthen the weakened abdominal wall, preventing the recurrence of the hernia.

The procedure typically begins with an incision near the hernia site, allowing the surgeon to access the protruding tissue. Once the hernia is reduced (pushed back into its normal position), the weakened area is carefully repaired by stitching the surrounding muscle or connective tissue together. This closure aims to reinforce the weakened spot and prevent the hernia from recurring.

Herniorrhaphy is often performed under local or general anaesthesia, and the type of anaesthesia used depends on the size and complexity of the hernia.

Advantages of Herniorrhaphy:

  • Low Cost: Herniorrhaphy is often more cost-effective than Hernioplasty as it doesn't require the use of mesh. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals without health insurance coverage or those looking for a more budget-friendly option.
  • Minimised Infection Risk: Since Herniorrhaphy involves fewer materials and a simpler procedure, there may be a reduced risk of infection compared to Hernioplasty. The absence of a foreign body like mesh minimises the potential for complications related to infections.
  • Faster Recovery: The simplicity of Herniorrhaphy often results in a faster recovery time compared to Hernioplasty. Patients may experience less postoperative pain and discomfort, allowing them to return to their normal activities sooner.
  • Suitable for Smaller Hernias: Herniorrhaphy is particularly effective for smaller hernias where the tissue can be easily sutured together without the need for additional reinforcement. This makes it a viable option for certain cases where a less invasive approach is preferable.

Understanding Hernioplasty - Utilizing Mesh Reinforcement

Hernioplasty is a more modern and advanced approach to hernia repair that involves the use of mesh materials to reinforce the weakened area. Unlike herniorrhaphy, where the weakened tissues are stitched together, hernioplasty utilises a mesh patch to provide additional support and strength to the abdominal wall.

During a hernioplasty procedure, the surgeon makes an incision near the hernia site, similar to herniorrhaphy. However, instead of solely relying on sutures to close the weakened area, a specially designed mesh is placed over the hernia defect. This mesh acts as a barrier, preventing the herniated tissue from protruding through the weakened spot again.

The mesh used in hernioplasty can be either absorbable or non-absorbable, and the choice depends on the surgeon's preference and the patient's specific condition. Absorbable meshes gradually break down and are absorbed by the body over time, leaving behind natural tissue repair. Non-absorbable meshes, on the other hand, remain in place indefinitely, providing long-term support.

Advantages of Hernioplasty:

  • Customisable Mesh Options: Hernioplasty provides a range of mesh options, allowing surgeons to choose the most suitable material for each patient. This customization ensures compatibility with the patient's body and reduces the risk of complications.
  • Faster Recovery: In many cases, patients undergoing Hernioplasty experience a faster and more comfortable recovery compared to Herniorrhaphy. The mesh reinforces the weakened area, allowing patients to resume normal activities sooner.
  • Minimal Tension on Surrounding Tissues: The use of mesh distributes the tension across a broader area, minimising stress on the surrounding tissues. This can reduce pain and discomfort during the recovery period.
  • Lower Postoperative Pain: Hernioplasty is often associated with less postoperative pain compared to Herniorrhaphy. The mesh provides additional support, reducing the strain on the repaired area and contributing to a smoother recovery process.

Similarities and Differences Between Herniorrhaphy and Hernioplasty

While both herniorrhaphy vs hernioplasty aim to repair hernias, there are notable differences between the two procedures.


1. Incision: Both procedures involve making an incision near the hernia site to access the weakened area.

2. Anaesthesia: Herniorrhaphy and hernioplasty can be performed under local or general anaesthesia, depending on the nature of the hernia and the patient's overall health.


1. Technique: Herniorrhaphy relies on stitching the weakened tissues together, while hernioplasty involves using a mesh to reinforce the area.

2. Recurrence Rates: Hernioplasty is often associated with lower hernia recurrence rates compared to herniorrhaphy. The mesh provides additional structural support, reducing the likelihood of hernia reappearance.

3. Recovery Time: Herniorrhaphy may have a shorter initial recovery period, but hernioplasty may offer a faster return to normal activities in the long term due to its lower recurrence rates.

Choosing the Right Procedure

The kind and size of the hernia, the patient's general health, and the surgeon's experience all play a role in determining whether herniorrhaphy or hernioplasty is the best course of action. The following factors should be taken into account to aid in decision-making:

1. Hernia Type and Size: While bigger or recurring hernias may benefit from the extra support that hernioplasty offers, smaller hernias may be successfully treated with herniorrhaphy.

2. Patient Factors: The patient's age, overall health, and medical history play a crucial role in determining the most suitable procedure. Some patients may be better candidates for one technique over the other.

3. Surgeon's Expertise: The surgeon's experience and proficiency in performing both herniorrhaphy and hernioplasty are vital. Consulting with a skilled surgeon who can assess the individual case and recommend the most appropriate procedure is crucial.

4. Recurrence Concerns: If there is a higher risk of hernia recurrence, hernioplasty might be the preferred option due to its lower recurrence rates.


Herniorrhaphy vs hernioplasty are both effective surgical procedures for treating hernias, each with its own set of advantages and considerations. Having a clear understanding of the distinctions between these methods and speaking with an experienced medical practitioner will assist you in selecting the best hernia treatment for your particular situation. The objective is to provide patients with long-lasting comfort and stop hernia recurrence so they may restore their quality of life, regardless of whether they choose the sophisticated mesh reinforcement of hernioplasty or the more conventional repair of herniorrhaphy.