Hernia surgery is carried out on more than 100,000 people each year according to NHS figures. Yet despite how common the procedure is, it’s common for patients to have questions and concerns about the surgery.
If you’re wondering what hernia surgery is, how it is performed, and what results you can expect, we’re here to help.
Below, we’ve answered some of the most common questions about hernia surgery to help you make an informed decision with confidence.
How is hernia surgery performed?
Hernia surgery can be performed in different ways, depending upon various factors. For example, the type of hernia you have such as Inguinal, Incisional, and Femoral, may determine which procedure is required.
Here’s a brief rundown of each method:
Open Surgery: This is the traditional method used to repair a hernia. An incision is made close to the hernia before the protruding tissue is then repositioned to its rightful place. Mesh may be used to reinforce the area. The site is then meticulously closed.
This approach remains the method of choice to treat certain types of hernias. It gives the surgeon comprehensive access and control.
Laparoscopic Surgery (Keyhole Approach): A contemporary approach to hernia repair, this procedure employs several smaller incisions. A laparoscope, which is a small camera, and other specialist instruments, are then placed through the incisions. The surgeon can view and repair the hernia internally, often utilising mesh for support.
Advantages of this approach can include a speedier recovery period and reduced scarring.
How do I prepare for hernia surgery?
In the lead-up to hernia surgery, following your surgeon’s instructions is paramount to ensure the best possible recovery. For example, you may be instructed to stop taking certain medications that increase the risk of bleeding. You will also typically need to fast for a predetermined period.
Remember, post-surgery, you’re likely to be in a post-anaesthetic state. Before you undergo the procedure, you should arrange for a trusted person to drive you home.
What are the risks of hernia surgery?
Every surgery has its risks, and hernia surgery is no exception. Potential complications can include infections, bleeding, discomfort, or reactions to the anaesthesia.
There’s also a small chance the hernia will come back after surgery, and potential damage to neighbouring organs. The mesh, often used to help strengthen the muscle wall after a hernia repair, might also occasionally be the root of complications.
Your surgeon will be able to tell you more about the risks and complications during your consultation.
What can I expect from my recovery?
In the aftermath of your surgery, it’s not uncommon to experience waves of pain or discomfort. Your surgeon can prescribe pain medication if needed.
Avoid carrying out intense activities in the initial days after the procedure. Your body needs plenty of rest and relaxation to fully heal. The surgeon will give you aftercare instructions to help you gradually return to daily tasks.
Periodic check-ins will be scheduled to keep an eye on how the site is healing. While many patients can get back to their normal lives within weeks, the precise recovery timeframe will vary.
Mr Myles Smith has a great experience of performing open hernia repairs over the years including complex hernia surgeries. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about the procedure and what you can expect.