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Piedmont Newton Now Offering Minimally Invasive Hernia Repair

Covington, Ga. (Aug. 25, 2020) -- Edward Timmins, D.O., a general surgeon at Piedmont Physicians Surgical Specialists, is performing minimally invasive, laparoscopic hernia surgery at Piedmont Newton Hospital. This is the first time laparoscopic hernia repair surgeries have been offered at Piedmont Newton.

“Laparoscopic hernia repair is less invasive and requires less down time after surgery,” said Dr. Timmins, whose specialties include laparoscopic surgery of the gallbladder, appendix, colon and hernia repair with complex abdominal wall reconstruction. “Patients who elect to have the procedure completed laparoscopically usually have less bleeding during surgery, less pain after surgery, and are back to their normal routine about one week sooner than patients who choose to have open hernia surgery.”

During laparoscopic surgery, Dr. Timmins makes several small incisions, often around a half inch in length, through which he inserts surgical instruments to make the repairs. In contrast, during an open hernia repair surgery, one long incision, often a few inches in length, is made in the area of the hernia through which the surgeon completes repairs to the weakened muscle or tissue. 

Hernias occur when fatty tissue or an organ pushes through weakened muscle or tissue usually in the abdomen, but can also occur in the upper thigh or groin areas. Dr. Timmins offers laparoscopic repair for ventral hernias which are any protrusion of organ or tissue through the abdominal wall, inguinal hernias, which form in the lower part of the abdomen near the groin, umbilical hernias (near the belly button), and incisional hernias, which develop following surgery when the tissue pushes through the surgical wound or incision.

“Many people delay having hernia repair surgery because the hernia is not causing complications or affecting their activity,” said Dr. Timmins. “However, hernias tend to grow larger over time and can become life-threatening if they become strangulated or incarcerated.”

Incarcerated hernias are hernias that are continuously protruding through the abdominal tissue and cannot be pushed back into place. These hernias cause extreme discomfort for the patient. Strangulated hernias are hernias that become twisted or otherwise obstructed cutting off blood supply to the tissue and leading to infection that can spread throughout the body.

Hernias are caused by a combination of weakened muscles and tissues and strain that pushes the tissue or organ through the weak spot. They can develop quickly or over a long period of time. Common causes of muscle/tissue weakness include:

  • Congenital defect of the abdominal wall
  • Pregnancy
  • Aging
  • Injury or surgery
  • Obesity and poor nutrition
  • Smoking

“While many hernias start with no significant discomfort or pain, the majority of patients will require surgery within five years after diagnosis to address symptoms that get worse over time,” said Dr. Timmins. “The sooner we fix the hernia, the sooner you can get back to enjoying the things you like to do without the risk of complications from your hernia.”

If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Timmins, call 770-787-6957, or schedule your appointment online here. 

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