Information about Abdominal Wall Hernias Surgery
A hernia is a weakness in the abdominal wall. It may be present from birth, or develop gradually over the years.
How do I know if I have a hernia?
The main symptom is a bulge that usually appears in the groin area when the patient lifts heavy objects, coughs or sneezes. It can cause pain or burning in the area, or be present for years without producing any discomfort. In other cases, patients can experience discomfort without feeling any bulge and the hernia is usually discovered when they visit the doctor for a routine check.
What should I do if I suspect that I have a hernia?
Natural movements (stand up, sit down, walk, etc.) put increased pressure on the abdominal wall. Since the hernia will not go away on its own, as time goes by, it will only get bigger. The bigger the defect, the bigger the operation required to fix it. Delays in the resolution of a hernia may lead to emergency situations such as intestinal obstruction (when the intestine fails to return to the abdominal cavity) or, even worse, strangulation (when the intestine is affected and results in gangrene).
There is no effective medical treatment to treat this problem. The use of any device to keep the hernia from bulging such as the truss does nothing to repair the hernia; in fact, it distorts normal anatomy making the surgical repair of the hernia more difficult. After all, it is advisable to see your doctor as soon as possible so that you can be accurately diagnosed and decide when your hernia should be repaired.
Minimally Invasive Surgery
In order to perform this technique, the surgeon creates a surgical field and introduces air to maintain it. The surgery is performed in detail using small instruments and a high-definition camera to provide magnified images on a monitor. A mesh is used in the affected area to reinforce the abdominal wall without generating tension. The surgery can thus be performed with three incisions of 3 to 5 mm each.
On the Day of Surgery:
Typically, the patient is admitted to the hospital on the same day of the surgery. Once administrative procedures have been carried out, a nurse will give you medication through your IV.
After the surgery, the patient stays under supervision in the recovery room until he/she is fully awake and is able to walk normally.
Finally, by mutual agreement between the patient and surgeon, the date of discharge is decided on the same day of the surgery.
After the Surgery:
Usually, the patient is discharged on the day of the surgery or the following day. You will be able to perform normal activities having to avoid big efforts. It is advisable to avoid driving for a couple of days and physical activities can be resumed within 15 to 20 days after the surgery. It is necessary to schedule a follow-up appointment with your surgeon 1-2 weeks after the surgery.
Last Update: 07/20/2010
Note: This information is directed to support and not to replace your doctor opinion.
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