Hernia Surgery Process

Minimum Requirements for Hernia

When a hernia, a damage or protrusion in the abdominal wall is created it can often be placed back to position by pushing the protrusion back into place. If the hernia can't be fixed, it can be fixed by elective surgery. Only in rare cases, when the hernia is strangulated, or the blood supply is severe, the hernia surgery is imperative.

Deciding on Hernia Operation

As a hernia is seldom a life-threatening disorder, majority of patients can select whether or not they should treat a hernia surgically. Don’t forget that unlike other injuries, a hernia does not heal if left untreated, no matter how much time is given to this disorder. Over time, the hernia can become worse and lead to more pain. A hernia can only be fixed surgically. Recovery time may depend on the patient and the type of hernia, its location and the surgery opted for, but patients of hernia surgery are often discharged from the hospital on the same day, and very less patients witness serious complications after hernia surgery.

Preparation for Hernia Surgery

Before getting hospitalized for your hernia operation, your doctor may suggest for blood and urine tests to examine your overall medical condition. Doctor will explain you the type of procedure he will opt for to repair the hernia, whether it's tradition, mesh-free or laparoscopic, and whether you will be administered general anesthesia or remain awake with a spinal block or local anesthesia. Consult your doctor about any concerns you have pertaining to the procedure during your pre-surgery visit. Ask what type of pain medication will be prescribed after the surgery, and if you should take antibiotics to inhibit infection. Tell your doctor about any prescription and over-the-counter drugs you take and any allergies you have beforehand.

Preparation on Surgery Day

On the day of the surgery, skip your breakfast. Your doctor will instruct you to come to the hospital in an empty stomach. Wear comfortable clothes like sweat pants and a T-shirt so that you can be discharged from the hospital without struggling with your clothes. Let someone drive you to the hospital and remain in the hospital to drive you back home. The surgery itself takes few hours. Ask someone to spend the first night in the hospital with you, and avoid climbing up and down stairs for few days. When you are checked into the room, you'll change into a surgical gown and cap and a nurse will put an IV to administer drugs and fluids. Doctors generally order a sedative injection to calm the patient prior to the surgery. A nurse clean and shaves the surgical area. You can go back to normal activities after a couple of weeks, but avoid straining yourself physically and constipation to cease a recurrence of the hernia. Hernias recur in nearly five percent of people who have had hernia surgical repairs, according to the American College of Surgeons.

Type of Anesthesia Used

You will undergo a pre-operative interview with an anesthesiologist who will inquire you regarding your medical background. Hernia repairs are performed under the influence of general anesthesia. After the application of general anesthetic, you will be unconscious during your surgery.

Insurance Cover

You should also contact your insurance company to cross check the coverage and ascertain if a referral is required. You will be instructed to pre-register with the right hospital and provide demographic and insurance details. This must be completed a week prior to the date of surgery. Your surgeon will provide you with the specific instructions on how to prepare for your surgery.

Process of Hernia Surgery   

You will report to a pre-operative nursing department, where you will slip into a hospital gown. A nurse will review your chart and confirm that all paperwork is in order. You will be taken to a pre-operative zone and an anesthesiologist will start an IV. Prior to administration of any medications your surgeon will confirm your name and the type of process you are going to undergo. You will then be carried to the operating room. After the proper form of anesthesia is administered, surgery will take place. 

How is the Surgery Performed

If your hernia surgery is performed laparoscopically, your physician will create three to four small incisions. Your surgeon will insert tube-like devices via these incisions. The abdomen will be filled with gas to help the surgeon to view the abdominal cavity if any or any type of damage to the wall of abdomen. A camera, inserted along one of the tubes, will display images on a monitor placed in the operating room. Other devices will be placed using the additional tubes. In this way, your surgeon will be able to perform any type of repair work inside your abdomen without using a big incision.

If the hernia surgery is not performed laparoscopically, your surgeon will opt for an open hernia repair.  In this type of hernia repair, your surgeon will make one larger incision to reach the inner abdominal cavity and fix the hernia from this incision.

Once inside, your surgeon will suture a surgical mesh to consolidate the damaged or weakened muscle. The surgical mesh is made of a solid, sterile, synthetic substance. When repairing a big abdominal hernia, your surgeon may insert a device to flush out liquid from the abdomen and to prevent the postoperative fluid collection in the abdomen.

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