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    General And Endoscopy Surgery:
 
 

Hernia Surgery:

Hernia repair is surgery to correct a hernia. A hernia is an abnormal bulging of internal organs, often the intestine, through a weakness in a muscular wall.

Description

This article focuses on surgery to repair a hernia. For information on a specific type of hernia see:

  • Inguinal hernia

Inguinal hernia is the result of an organ, usually bowel, protruding through a weak point or tear in the thin muscular abdominal wall. Inguinal hernias can restrict blood supply to the bowel herniated through the defect, creating a medical emergency.

  • Femoral hernia

A femoral hernia is a protrusion of a loop of the intestine through a weakened abdominal wall, located in the lower abdomen near the thigh.

  • Hiatal hernia

The esophagus runs through the diaphragm to the stomach. It functions to carry food from the mouth to the stomach.The esophagus passes through the diaphragm just before it meets the stomach, through an opening called the esophageal hiatus.

  • Umbilical hernia

The umbilicus ("belly button") is in the center of the lower abdomen. It is the site through which vessels which provide nutrients to the fetus from the mother during development penetrate the fetal abdominal wall.

Before surgery, you will be given a sedative to make you drowsy. A local or spinal numbing medicine (anesthesia) will be used so you do not feel pain during the procedure. In some cases, the procedure is done while you are under general anesthesia (unconscious and pain-free). The surgeon makes a cut over the area of the hernia. The bulging tissue or organ is placed back inside the muscle wall, the muscle tissue is repaired, and the skin is closed. In many inguinal hernia repairs, a small piece of plastic mesh is used to repair the defect in the muscle tissue. Laparoscopic hernia repair is becoming more popular. This approach uses a minimally invasive technique.

Indications

Hernia repair may be recommended when a hernia is painful or symptoms interfere with daily activities. It may also be done when there are large bulges through a small hole, which interferes with blood flow or causes a blocked intestine. Most hernias should be repaired to prevent the possible complications of restricted blood flow or blocked intestine.

Risks

Risks for any anesthesia include:

  • Reactions to medications
  • Problems breathing

Risks for any surgery include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection

Additional risks of hernia repair include:

  • Injury to nearby structures
  • Hernia returns

Expectations after surgery

Most hernias can be repaired with a simple operation with minimal risks to the patient.

Convalescence

Small children have no activity restrictions following routine hernia repair. Older children should avoid contact sports for at least 3 weeks. Getting hit where the wound is could cause the skin to open or it may disrupt the repair (less common). Adults should avoid heavy lifting or straining for about 6 - 8 weeks after surgery. Such activity can disrupt the hernia repair. Do not take a bath for at least 5 days after the operation. Soaking may separate the skin tapes and the wound could break open. Sponge bathing for infants and showering for older children are permitted the day after surgery. The wound tapes should be carefully patted dry after showering.

Expect complete recovery from surgery in about 2 - 4 weeks.

 

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