But is it actually better for the patient in the long run?
A new study of 233 hernia patients, who had either the standard 'open' surgery or laparoscopy, discovered virtually no difference between the two approaches.
Recurrence rates were similar in the two groups, the study found. The one advantage was that laparoscopic surgery was far less dangerous for the patient, who was also able to leave hospital sooner.
(Source: Archives of Surgery, 2007; 142: 562-7).