Hernia Repair

A hernia repair is a surgical procedure to fix a hernia. A hernia occurs when an internal organ, usually the intestine, or a piece of fat pokes through a weak area in the muscular wall of the abdomen. Symptoms of hernia depend on its location; some types may not have any symptoms at all. Without treatment some may grow and cause pain. In some cases, hernia may cause obstruction of the intestines or block blood flow to organs. These are considered serious types of hernia and require surgery.

Types of Hernia
  1. Inguinal hernia
  2. Umbilical hernia
  3. Incisional hernia
        There are also other types of hernia found in the abdomen, such as hiatal hernia, diaphragmatic hernia, and obturator hernia.
The most common symptom of a hernia is a bulge that appears when walking or exercising that may disappear when you lay flat. It may or may not be painful. A bulge that doesn’t go away and severe abdominal pain can be signs of an incarcerated hernia, which can lead to strangulated hernia that requires emergency surgery.
A hernia must be treated with surgery. If untreated it can grow bigger and cause serious complications as mentioned previously. An inguinal hernia repair usually involves the placement of a surgical mesh over the weakened area to strengthen it. In patients with inguinal hernia, it has been found that less than 1% will have a recurrence with this procedure. For umbilical and incisional hernia, the doctor will close up the opened area and reinforce it with surgical mesh.
Types of Surgery
  1. Robotic-assisted hernia repair
  2. Laparoscopic hernia repair
  3. Open hernia repair
All three procedures involve general anesthesia and a hospital stay after the procedure for monitoring.
Before the procedure your doctor will explain the objective of the procedure as well as the method that will be used. The doctor will also tell you the type of anesthesia that will be used and if the procedure will be done as an in-patient or out-patient. You can prepare for the procedure as follows:
  1. Please let your doctor know if you have any existing medical conditions and if you are taking any medication. Please also let your doctor know if you have any allergies to medicine or food, if you have had surgery before and the type of anesthesia used and if you experienced any complications form it.
  2. If you drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes, please stop doing both for at least two weeks or up to a month before the procedure, especially if general anesthesia will be used. This helps prevent complications due to compromised lung function and prevents coughing after the procedure.
  3. You will need to fast for at least eight hours before the procedure or as recommended by your doctor to prevent aspiration of food particles into your lungs while you are under general anesthesia.
There are many different techniques for hernia repair, including:
  1. A herniotomy involves only the removal of the hernia sac without repairing the abdominal wall. This technique is commonly used in small children.
  2. A herniorrhaphy is the preferred method for hernia repair with the best results. The bulging tissue is pushed back in and the weakened area is strengthened. There are many ways to do this, whether the hole is stitched closed or a surgical mesh is placed over the area to strengthen it. The mess is attached to nearby muscles.
Patients usually experience mild pain that can be controlled with medication. You can usually sip water after the procedure and can increase the amount until you are ready to eat normal food. Expect to feel tired for a few days after surgery and plan to take it easy and return to normal activities slowly. It usually takes about two weeks for recovery from surgery. Do not lift anything heavy for at least four to six weeks to prevent rupture of incisions and to help the internal wound heal more quickly.
  1. Reaction to anesthesia.
  2. Bleeding and infection at the incision site.
  3. Nerve damage, dysfunction of skin sensation, and numbness near the incision site.
  4. Chronic pain at the incision site (rare).
  1. If you are taking any blood-thinning medication/anticoagulant, please let your doctor know as some may need to be stopped before you travel for the procedure.
  2. Travelers to Thailand should plan to stay in the country for at least one week or for the entire duration of treatment.
  3. If you plan to return home after the procedure, please speak to your doctor before making travel arrangements.
  4. During your follow-up appointment your medical team will assess your health and your incision and you will receive documents detailing your medical and treatment history and your "Fit to Fly" certificate (if needed).
The success of the procedure depends on a number of factors including pre- and post-procedure care. Please discuss the likelihood of success with your doctor before the procedure.
What if the procedure is not performed?
A hernia will cause pain and limit movement or your ability to carry out certain activities. It can lead to severe complications such as infection, intestinal obstruction. An untreated hernia will not get better on its own and surgery may be the only way to repair it.


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