In this medical video learn how surgeons are approaching hernias in a whole new way, and it means less pain and no scars for patients.
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Jennifer Matthews: Jim Hawkins is an avid exerciser, but a pain by his groin put a halt to his workouts. Hawkins had a hernia. Jim Hawkins: I don't know what caused mine. Maybe my genes, my brother and dad both had hernias. Jennifer Matthews: A hernia is a tear or hole in the wall of the abdomen. The only treatment option is surgery. Standard surgery is done with a four-inch incision. A laparoscopic procedure uses three small incisions. But now one doctor has developed a way to do the surgery through the navel. James Westervelt: There must be a way that this can be done with a less invasive approach, and that's how I came to start doing it. Jennifer Matthews: Dr. Westervelt combines an old technology and a new technology. This operating scope is the old technology once used for procedures like tying a woman's tubes. The new technology is a port, which gives the surgeon a clear view. James Westervelt: You can see each tissue layer as you go through it. Jennifer Matthews: Once inside, a layer of mesh is used to patch the hole. And it's all done through the bellybutton, leaving no visible scar. Jim Hawkins: I wasn't sure how they could get all the equipment through one little hole, but modern science does it. Jennifer Matthews: The biggest change came after the surgery, and Jim knows it firsthand. Fourteen years ago, he had traditional hernia surgery on his right side. His left side was recently repaired with the new technique. Jim Hawkins: The overall recovery was much quicker I mean it was days compared to weeks. Jennifer Matthews: Letting him get back to the gym in record time. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.