Hernia Repair

What is hernia?

Displacement or protrusion of an organ from the cavity is called hernia.

Types of hernia:

Inguinal hernia: It is the protrusion of the intestine or bladder through the inguinal wall. This is the most common type of hernia and is most likely to occur in men. This is usually due to a weakness in the inguinal region.

Umbilical hernia: Protrusion of a part of small intestine through abdominal wall near the umbilicus is called umbilical hernia. This type of hernia is common in children and mothers who have given birth to more than 3 children.

Incisional: It is known as Incisional hernia because it occurs as a complication of a previous surgery. The abdominal wall pushes against the incision of the previous surgery which results in protrusion of a part of intestine from the incision. Elderly people and the people with sedentary lifestyle are more likely to develop Incisional hernia.

Hiatal: It is the type of hernia in which upper stomach pushes through the diaphragm. This usually causes difficulty in swallowing.

Femoral: This type of hernia happens when a part of intestine slips down into the canal carrying femoral artery. Pregnant and obese women are prone to develop this type of hernia.

Causes (Reasons)

The primary cause of hernias is weak muscles. The combination of pressure and muscle weakness results in the protrusion of an organ or a part of it through the cavity. Anything that causes pressure on the abdomen may result in hernia. The most common causes include:

  • Lifting a heavy weight object
  • Heavy weight lifting
  • Over stretching
  • Long-standing diarrhea or constipation
  • Persistent coughing or sneezing
  • Other causes: Obesity, Smoking, Binge drinking, Overeating, Muscle weakness, and Poor nutrition

Is surgery necessary?

Hernia doesn’t heal itself; it always needs surgical intervention. Surgical repair is the treatment of choice in most of the cases. Surgery is important because surgery can easily remove any visible bulging and can eliminate the pain that is caused due to it.
Delaying the hernia repair surgery or leaving the hernias untreated may result in severe complications such as strangulation, ischemia, etc. Hernia repair prevent the patient from the possible complications of hernia.

Pre-op preparations / Preparations before the surgery

You will be admitted to the hospital at least 24 hours before the surgery. You will not be allowed to eat or drink anything for at least 18 hours before the surgery. You will be put under complete observation of the experts with regular checkups.

Procedure of the surgery

Inguinal hernia: This type of hernia repaired with an open surgery. This procedure is performed under general anesthesia. After anesthesia, the surgeon will make an incision on your groin area and return the protruded organ (intestine) to its original position. Once the protruded organ is placed back into its original position, a small pump fill with pain killers is attached to the site of the surgery. This pump keeps administering a specific amount of the medication to the site of the surgery which protects the patient from developing severe pain.  You can manually remove the pump 2 days after the surgery when the medicine is gone.
Umbilical hernia: It is repaired with a laparoscopic procedure. The surgeon makes 4-5 incisions around the abdomen. He puts the protruded organ back to it original position with the help of an endoscope. After the successful operation, an adhesive compound is used to close the tiny incisions.

Post-op measures / After the surgery:

You will stay at the hospital for the night and will be put under proper observation. You can go home next day.

Re-visit

The surgeon would like to see you after a week or two for the follow up.
Incisional hernia and Inguinal hernia are the most common types and can be treated easily with surgery, without any serious complications.