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How Is Hernia Resolved With Surgery?

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open hernia surgery

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  • There are two procedures patients may undergo if they have a hernia: open surgery or laparoscopic surgery
  • During an open surgery, a single and long incision is made in the groin
  • Patients with large ventral hernias, recurrent hernias and bilateral inguinal hernias may be good candidates for laparoscopic surgery

If your hernia is growing larger or causing pain, surgery may be recommended. Surgery for a hernia typically depends on its location in the body.1 There are two different types of surgeries that patients can undergo.

Open Surgery

During an open surgery, a single and long incision is made in the groin. A surgeon can either move a hernia that has bulged out of the abdominal wall into its original place, push it back, or tie and remove a hernia that may be going down the inguinal canal.

There are two aspects that must be considered if a patient needs to undergo an open surgery: the surgeon’s preference and the portion of the muscle wall that needs repairing.2 Sutures, mesh or a combination of both are used to close a hernia, while sutures, staples or surgical glue are used to close the surgical wound in the skin.3

A herniorrhaphy, which involves stitching the sides of healthy muscle tissue together, may be ideal for small, congenital hernias and people with healthy tissues, as this allows the use of stitches without causing stress.

Meanwhile, large and recurring hernias are often covered with synthetic mesh patches, usually via a procedure called hernioplasty. This aims to help lessen the tension in the affected area and the risk for a hernia recurrence, and the patches are stitched after the hernia is pushed back into place.4

Patients who undergo an open surgery for their hernia may have a longer recovery period,5 although it is possible to go home on the same day you have this procedure. It takes approximately three weeks to recover from an open surgery, and during this time you can attempt light activities or drive vehicles (around two weeks after the procedure). However, you must refrain from exercising vigorously until after the sixth week of your recovery period.

If you notice swelling over the incision, do not panic. You can alleviate this by first placing a thin cloth over the skin in the affected area and applying an ice or cold pack on it for 10 to 20 minutes at a time, every one to two hours. While an open surgery for a hernia is typically safe, seek medical attention immediately if:6

  • Your incision turns warm and red
  • A testicle hardens and swells
  • The wound bleeds heavily and seeps through the bandage
  • You develop a fever

Laparoscopic Surgery

This surgical procedure may be considered for patients with large ventral hernias, recurrent hernias and bilateral inguinal hernias. In some cases, a laparoscopic surgery can be performed in athletes who will participate in competitions and want to speed up their recovery.7

A laparoscopic surgery involves using a laparoscope, a tube with a tiny camera at the end. After small incisions are made near the hernia, the surgeon inserts the laparoscope and inflates your abdomen with gas. The laparoscope will produce images for the surgeon so they can repair the hernia.8

Although a laparoscopy is more expensive, this procedure is less likely to trigger complications.9 Other advantages linked to a laparoscopic surgery include:10

  • Instead of one large cut, there will be several tiny incisions
  • A shorter hospital stay11
  • Less post-surgical pain12
  • Shorter recovery time compared to an open surgery13
  • Patient may return to work and do daily activities sooner

While recovery time for a laparoscopic hernia surgery is faster, the risk of recurrence may be higher.14 Men with hernias that have moved down into the scrotum may also be predisposed to increased pain and swelling.15 When recovering from a laparoscopic surgery, always follow your doctor’s instructions. Get enough rest16 and refrain from exercising or doing strenuous activities for around four weeks or so, even if you may be feeling better.17

Remember that surgery should only be a last resort. Try implementing better lifestyle changes first and consult your doctor for potential natural treatments that may help alleviate this condition.

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Hernia Causes

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Hernia Surgery

Hernia Prevention

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