Hernia surgery is a surgical procedure done to return an organ to its original place after protruding through a weak spot of muscle. Hernias can affect both children and adults. Some hernias tend to be painful while others are not. The objective for hernia surgery is to provide the best and strongest repair with minimal chance of recurrence and least possible discomfort with fastest recovery.
THERE ARE THREE DIFFERENT TYPES OF HERNIAS:
1. Uncomplicated hernia – this is where the intestines protrude into the peritoneum but are not trapped.
2. Incarcerated hernia – this happens when the intestines protrude through the weak area and become trapped.
3. Strangulated hernia – this is when the incarcerated hernia does not receive blood after its supply is cut off. It can lead to gangrene.
Both strangulated and incarcerated hernias are considered as medical emergencies. Thus, they require emergency surgery. Because of this reason, doctors recommend surgery for uncomplicated hernia even when it doesn’t pose any threat to the patient.
INDICATIONS FOR THIS SURGERY
A doctor can recommend surgery after noticing the following indications:
1. Most hernias need surgical treatment. All uncomplicated hernias must be recommended to undergo hernia repair to prevent further complications.
2. Incarceration – this is where a tissue gets trapped in the abdominal wall. If incarceration is left untreated, it can result to strangulation, where the blood supply to the tissue is cut off.
3. Strangulation of the hernia – this can lead to permanent damage, and in most serious cases cause death. You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience acute pain which gets worse, fever or the hernia turns dark, red or purple. If that’s the case, you might require undergoing emergency surgery.
4. If the hernia is growing larger or causing pain and discomfort.
HOW IS THE SURGERY PERFORMED?
Hernias can be repaired by either the open method or laparoscopically. Both methods are performed at a surgery center or hospital. After undergoing a hernia surgery, a patient is usually able to go home after a few days. In most cases, patients usually go home the same day of the surgery.
Here are some of the things which patients should be aware after undergoing a hernia removal surgery:
Discomfort – after undergoing a hernia surgery you will definitely experience some discomfort, especially where the stitches are placed. The anesthetic used during the surgery also wears off after a few hours. Pain medication can be used in case the patient experiences excess pain.
Swelling – a patient can experience some swelling in the operated area. This at times can be as a result of collection of fluid where the hernia was located. This is not common, but if it occurs, the fluid is absorbed back into the body in a matter of few weeks. A patient can also experience bruising around the wound. However, the bruising usually disappears in few weeks.
Caring for the wound – the wound dressing should be left in place until it falls off by itself. If it fails to fall off within a week, it can be removed safely then. The dissolving stitch beneath the skin doesn’t need to be removed.
Wound infection – wound infections are not common. However, if the wound turns red and becomes swollen and painful, the patient should contact their doctor immediately. If wound is infected, a patient is advised to take prescribed antibiotics.
Physical activity – after undergoing a hernia repair, a patient should not engage in strenuous physical activities for a period of 3 months. It is advisable for the patient to move around the house and even take short walks.