A hernia occurs when tissue bulges out through an opening in the muscles. Any part of the abdominal wall can weaken and develop a hernia, but the most common sites are the groin (inguinal) the navel (umbilical) and a previous surgical incision site.
- Visible bulge in the scrotum, groin, umbilical area, especially with coughing or straining.
- Pain or pressure at the hernia site.
- Open hernia repair – An incision is made near the site and the hernia is repaired with mesh by suturing (sewing) the muscle closed.
- Laparoscopic hernia repair – The hernia is repaired by mesh or sutures inserted through instruments placed into small incisions in the abdomen.
Benefits of Your Operation
Benefits – An operation is the only way to repair a hernia. You can return to your normal activities and in most cases will not have further discomfort.
Risks of not having an operation – Your hernia may cause pain and increase in size. If your intestine becomes trapped in the hernia pouch you will have sudden pain, vomiting, gangrene and need an immediate operation.
Before your operation – Evaluation may include blood work and urinalysis. Your surgeon and anesthesia provider will discuss your health history, home medications and pain control options.
The day of your operation – You will not eat or drink for 6 hours before the operation. Most often you will take your normal medication with a sip of water. You will need someone to drive you home.
Your recovery – If you do not have complications you usually will go home the same day.
Call your surgeon – If you have severe pain, stomach cramping, chills or a high fever (over 101 F or 38 C), odor or increased drainage from your incision, or no bowel movements for 3 days.