Hernia Repair Surgery : Top Frequently Asked Questions

Hernia Repair Surgery : Top Frequently Asked Questions

1. What happens if a hernia is left untreated?

Certain parts of the intestine may protrude and become caught in the abdominal wall, which will strangulate and cut off the blood supply to the surrounding trapped tissue. Untreated strangulated hernias can result in potentially fatal diseases including sepsis and necrotizing enterocolitis, which is a severe intestinal inflammation. Hernias can occur to anyone at any age. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment must be given as soon as possible if suspected signs and symptoms appear.

2. When can one return to work?

After this kind of surgery, most patients need four to five days to feel well enough to resume their regular, daily activities. It normally takes them seven to ten days before they feel ready to return to work.

3. Can you repair a hernia without surgery?

Without surgery, a hernia typically does not go away. Non-surgical methods such as using a truss, binder, or corset might apply mild pressure on the hernia to keep it in place. These techniques could help reduce your pain or discomfort if you are either waiting for surgery or are not well enough to undergo it. Although they can offer short-term respite, surgery is the only effective way to repair a hernia.

4. Which is the best surgery for a hernia?

The type and severity of the hernia, the patient’s general health, and the surgeon’s experience all play a role in determining the optimal surgery for a hernia. Laparoscopic (minimally invasive) and open repair are the primary forms of hernia procedures.

  • Open repair: This conventional method involves the surgeon making an incision close to the hernia, pushing the protruding tissue back into position, and using mesh patches or sutures to heal the weakening muscle or tissue. For more complicated or larger hernias, open surgery is frequently advised.
  • Laparoscopic repair: This method includes creating multiple tiny abdominal incisions to insert a tiny camera and surgical instruments. Using a mesh patch, the surgeon fixes the hernia while keeping an eye on the affected area via a monitor. Compared to open repair, laparoscopic surgery usually causes less pain and requires a quicker recovery.

5. Which is better: open or laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair?

The decision between open and laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair procedures is influenced by several factors, such as the patient’s preferences, the surgeon’s experience, and the particular state of the patient. Both procedures offer benefits and drawbacks.

Open Inguinal Hernia Repair Advantages:

  • A well-established, tested method with widely accepted evidence.
  • Makes it simpler to treat large or complicated hernias by granting direct access to the hernia site.
  • Usually less costly than laparoscopic procedures.
  • Some people may recover more quickly than others, especially if they have minor hernias or certain medical issues.

Open Inguinal Hernia Repair Disadvantages:

  • Greater incision size is needed, which could result in increased discomfort after surgery and a longer recovery period.
  • Increased chance of wound problems such as infection or recurrent hernia.
  • Extended hospital stay in contrast to laparoscopic procedures.

Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia Repair Advantages:

  • Fewer incisions and a minimally invasive technique for faster healing and reduced pain following surgery.
  • Decreased chance of wound complications such as infection or recurrence of a hernia.
  • Enhanced visibility of the surrounding tissues and the hernia site, enabling more accurate healing.
  • For many patients, a shorter hospital stay and a quicker return to their regular activities.

Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia Repair Disadvantages:

  • Requires certain knowledge and tools, hence not all surgeons may be skilled in this method.
  • Longer surgery than in an open setting.
  • Possibility of side effects from using pneumoperitoneum, a carbon dioxide gas used to inflate the abdomen during laparoscopic surgery, or from general anesthesia.

6. Is hernia surgery painful?

While everyone’s experience with pain varies, most people who have hernia surgery will suffer some level of discomfort or pain during the healing phase.

The following are some important details about hernia surgery and pain:

  • During Surgery: To keep patients pain-free throughout the process, an anesthetic is usually administered to them during surgery.
  • Postoperative Pain: Following surgery, pain and discomfort are often experienced to some extent, particularly in the initial days.
  • Pain management: Following hernia surgery, doctors and other healthcare professionals employ a range of techniques to control pain. These include local anesthetics, nerve blocks, and prescription pharmaceuticals (such as opioids or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications).
  • Recovery Time: As the body heals, pain usually becomes better with time. Most patients recover significantly in the first week or two following surgery.
  • Challenges: Although they are rare, problems like an infection or a hernia recurrence can make pain or suffering worse.

7. Can you get a hernia after surgery?

After abdominal surgery, about one-third of patients will get an incisional hernia. An incisional hernia is a condition in which tissue from the intestine, an organ, or another source protrudes through a surgical incision.

8. What are the types of hernia?

Anywhere in the body where there is a weakness in the muscle or tissue wall that allows organs or tissues to protrude through can develop a hernia. Among the most typical kinds of hernias are:

  • Inguinal Hernia: The most common kind of hernia is called an inguinal hernia, which occurs when abdominal or intestinal tissue pushes through a weak place in the inguinal canal, which is found in the groin region. Men experience inguinal hernias more frequently than women.
  • Femoral Hernia: Femoral hernias also occur in the groin region. But they originate through the femoral canal, which is beneath the ligament of the inguinus. Women are more likely to get femoral hernias than males, particularly if they are obese or pregnant.
  • Umbilical Hernia: This kind of hernia happens when a portion of the intestine protrudes through the abdominal wall’s weakness at the area of the umbilicus, or belly button. Although they are more frequent in infants, adults can occasionally get umbilical hernias, especially if they are overweight or have had several pregnancies.
  • Incisional Hernia: Where the muscle or tissue has deteriorated due to a prior surgical incision or scar, incisional hernias form. These can appear months or even years following surgery, especially if there were issues with the healing process or if the incision was done vertically.
  • Hiatal Hernia: A piece of the stomach protrudes vertically via the diaphragm into the chest cavity, in contrast to other forms of hernias that include protrusions in the abdominal wall. This may result in symptoms like dysphagia, chest pain, and heartburn.
  • Epigastric Hernia: Between the navel (umbilicus) and the breastbone (sternum), an area of weakness or deficiency in the upper abdomen allows fat or abdominal tissue to protrude. The semilunar line, a curving line on the side of the abdomen connecting the rectus abdominis muscle and the external oblique muscle, is where spegellian hernias occur.

9. What happens before, during, and after hernia repair?

An outline of what usually occurs before, during, and following hernia repair is provided below:

Before the Process:

  • Consultation: The patient has a first consultation with a surgeon. To identify the existence and nature of the hernia, the surgeon will evaluate the patient’s medical history, do a physical examination, and request tests like imaging investigations.
  • Preoperative evaluation: This includes making plans for transportation to and from the hospital or surgical center, changing one’s diet, and stopping specific medications.
  • Anesthetic Evaluation: To ensure the best kind of anesthetic for the treatment, the patient is examined by an anesthesiologist.

During the procedure:

  • Anesthesia: Various factors, including the patient’s general condition, the type of hernia, and the surgeon’s inclination, can influence the type of anesthesia employed.
  • Incision: To gain access to the herniated tissue, the surgeon creates an incision close to the hernia’s location.
  • Reduction: The tissue that is bulging inside the abdominal cavity is pressed back into place.
  • Repair: A variety of methods, including sutures, mesh reinforcement, or a mix of the two, are used to repair the weakened or damaged muscle or connective tissue.
  • Closure: Surgical staples or sutures are used to seal the incision.

Following the Procedure:

  • Recovery: Vital indicators are tracked, including blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen saturation.
  • Pain management: To control pain following surgery, medication is given as needed.
  • Hospital Stay: The time of a patient has to stay in the hospital for observation and additional healing will depend on the type of hernia repair and their general health. Certain hernia repairs can be handled as outpatient procedures, enabling the patient to go back to their residence the same day.

10. What are the risks and benefits of hernia repair surgery?

Without surgery, the majority of hernias will not recover.

Benefits of hernia repair surgery:

  • Eliminate any lumps or bulges.
  • Avoids complications. Rarely, a portion of the intestine may become stuck in the abdominal wall’s weak spot. This may result in a strangulated hernia, which stops the blood flow. Bowel obstruction is another possible outcome. Medical emergencies apply to both circumstances. This will not occur if the hernia is repaired.
  • Assist in easing discomfort.

Risks:

  • Infection.
  • Blood clots
  • Bleeding
  • Allergic responses to materials used in surgery, other drugs, or anesthesia.
  • Death, heart attack, or stroke (these happen infrequently).

Following hernia surgery, certain problems are rare but can occur

  • Recurrence of hernia is possible: recurrent hernias are often more severe, harder to cure, and necessitate more surgery.
  • Chronic discomfort: Depending on the nerves involved, pain or numbness may be felt near the surgical site or in other places.

Rare difficulties can arise after an inguinal hernia repair:

  • Testicle damage: Injury to the spermatic cord. Damage to the cord that transports sperm from the testicle to the penis might result in infertility.

11. What is the typical recovery after inguinal hernia surgery?

The type of surgery performed the patient’s general health, and any potential problems can all affect how quickly a patient recovers from inguinal hernia surgery. But to give you a broad idea of what to anticipate throughout the healing phase:

Initial Postoperative Phase:

  • Pain Management: To control postoperative discomfort, pain medication is usually used. The patient’s medical history and amount of pain may affect the kind and dosage of painkillers prescribed.
  • Fluid Intake: Following surgery, patients are advised to consume fluids to stay hydrated.

Weeks 1–2 Following Surgery:

  • Gradual Return to tasks: During this period, patients should refrain from heavy lifting or physically demanding tasks, but they can progressively increase their level of activity as tolerated.
  • Follow-up meeting: Within the first few weeks following surgery, patients usually schedule a follow-up meeting with their surgeon to evaluate recovery and go over any questions or concerns.

After more than Three Weeks:

  • Whole Recovery: After surgery, the majority of patients may anticipate going back to their regular routines, which include working out and going to work, in a few weeks. It’s crucial to pay attention to your body and refrain from overdoing it.
  • Incision Healing: Over the coming weeks and months, the incision site will continue to heal.

12. Is hernia hereditary?

Hernias are not inherited. However, some hernias are congenital, which is why this issue is posed. When a child’s stomach partially protrudes through the abdominal wall inside the belly button, it is known as an umbilical hernia. It seems to be a lump beneath the abdominal button. At the age of 4 or 5, most umbilical hernias resolve on their own, and it’s not uncomfortable.

13. Can you get a hernia after surgery?

Incisional hernias are a risk for those who have had abdominal surgery. Three to six months after the treatment, when the tissues are recovering from the incision, they are most vulnerable. Pregnancy, significant weight gain, and strenuous exercise should be avoided during this healing window since they can put an undue amount of stress on repairing abdominal tissue.

14. What to eat after hernia surgery?

Maintaining a well-balanced and readily digested diet is crucial after hernia surgery to decrease discomfort and encourage healing. The following food guidelines are suggested for the time following surgery:

  • Hydration: Drinking enough water promotes recovery and lessens the likelihood of constipation, which is a typical side effect following surgery.
  • Soft and Easy-to-Digest Foods: Select meals that are simple to chew and swallow, as well as ones that are easy on the stomach.
  • Foods High in Fiber: After surgery, constipation is frequently brought on by anesthesia, painkillers, and modifications in activity level. Eating meals high in fiber can either prevent or treat constipation.
  • Foods High in Protein: Protein is necessary for wound healing and tissue repair. Consume foods high in protein to aid in your recuperation.
  • Staying away from Gas-Producing Foods: Following surgery, gas and bloating might be uncomfortable due to certain foods.
  • Small, Frequent Meals: Throughout the day, try eating smaller, more frequent meals in instead of larger ones. This can lessen discomfort and assist avoid overtaxing the digestive system.

15. Who is the best doctor for hernia?

In India:

In Turkey:

In United Kingdom:

  • Dr. Manish Chand
  • Dr. Jonathan Krell

In UAE:

  • Dr. Faruq
  • Dr. Mouhsen Al Hosein

In Spain:

  • Dr. Stefan Botnar
  • Dr. Pedro Bretcha Boix
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Tanya Bose

Tanya Bose is a medical content writer with expert knowledge in Biotechnology. She has received her graduation and post-graduation qualifications from Amity University. Her extensive understanding of medical science enables her to effectively and concisely convey novel ideas in posts, blogs, and articles, making them understandable to the intended readers.

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