A hernia can be a painful and debilitating injury, bust most can be easily repaired with surgery.
A hernia can be a life-threatening condition that warrants immediate medical attention. If you suffer from a hernia, you may wonder how it will be repaired. You can prepare for hernia surgery now by learning what it is and how it is performed on patients. The type of surgery you undergo will depend on the type and location of the hernia.
What is a Hernia?
A hernia is a condition in which an internal organ or body part sticks through the walls of muscle or tissue that are supposed to contain it. There are four main types of hernias:
- Inguinal, which occurs in the lower abdomen or upper thigh
- Umbilical, which occurs near the naval or belly button
- Femoral, which is common in women and occurs in the upper inner thigh
- Hiatal, which is when part of the stomach protrudes through an opening in the diaphragm
Symptoms of a hernia include:
- Swelling or bulging in the groin or scrotum
- Increased pain at the site of the bulge
- Pain while lifting
- Increased size of the bulge over time
- Dull, aching sensations
- A feeling of fullness in the bowels
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, you should be examined immediately to determine if you suffer from a hernia.
About Hernia Repair Surgery
For most incidences of hernias, surgery is required to repair them. Hernia surgery may be performed as an outpatient or inpatient procedure depending on the type of hernia and the extensiveness of the symptoms.
Prior to the surgery, you will be given general anesthesia so you are asleep during the procedure. Once you are asleep, the surgeon will make an incision over the location of the hernia. He or she will then push the hernia back into the muscle or tissue before using sutures or flexible mesh to strengthen the area.
Once the mesh or sutures are in place, the surgeon will then close the incision with sutures or staples. You will be taken to a recovery room to awaken and be monitored.
Hernia Surgery Recovery
Recovering from hernia repair surgery can take several weeks. During the first seven days, you may notice the most amount of pain and discomfort. You should take your pain medications as prescribed and rest as needed to avoid fatigue and excess pain.
You also should walk at least once or twice a day to avoid the formation of blood clots in your lungs and legs. You should avoid heavy lifting to protect your sutures and incision. Heavy lifting can also cause the hernia to protrude again from the muscles or tissue. You can typically go back to work or school within 10 days to two weeks. You should avoid drinking alcohol and smoking while recuperating to ensure the best healing of your surgical incisions.