Hernia repair is one of the most common surgical operation.
Hernia surgery is performed to push back a protruding hernia bulge and return it to where it belongs, to close and strengthen the window through which the hernia came out of in the first place and, to help relieve hernia pain.
What is a hernia repair?
A hernia is a bulge or swelling, caused by an organ protruding through a weakness in the wall of the cavity containing it. A hernia can appear in many areas of your body. The most common place for a hernia is your abdomen. For example, an inguinal hernia occurs when a part of your bowel or fatty tissue pokes through your abdomen into your groin at the top of your inner thigh.
Hernias won’t get better without hernia repair surgery. If you leave your hernia it may not get any worse but it may grow, become more painful and, be more difficult to repair.
A hernia also runs the risk of life threatening complications such as getting trapped where it pokes through the wall (obstruction) or having its blood supply cut off (strangulation) in extreme cases.Your surgeon will discuss with you whether they recommend surgery to repair your hernia.
A hernia repair involves putting back into place your protruding organ and, repairing and strengthening the tissue area that it came out from.
What does a hernia repair surgery involve?
Hernia repair surgery is typically a day case procedure that can be performed by open or laparoscopic surgery. There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods. The type of surgery you have will be based on your individual health, previous surgery, the size of the hernia and, your surgeon's experience.
• Open hernia repair – is performed under local or general anaesthetic. Your surgeon will make a single cut over your hernia, usually about six to eight centimetres long.
They will move the lump of fatty tissue or loop of bowel back into its correct place and insert a mesh at the weak spot of the wall where your hernia came through. The mesh acts as a scaffold and allows your own tissue to grow through it which reinforces the weakened area. When the repair is complete, they will seal your skin with dissolvable stitches.
If you have a strangulated hernia and the protruding organ is damaged this section may be removed and the two ends of healthy bowel re-joined.
• Laparoscopic hernia repair – is performed under general anaesthetic. Your surgeon will make several smaller incisions to allow a telescopic camera called a laparoscope and tiny tools to be inserted into the hernia area. These are then used to return your hernia to its correct position and repair the weakened wall, often using a mesh. The small incisions are closed using stitches or surgical glue once the repair is done.
Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive technique and often offers benefits including: less discomfort, reduced scarring after surgery and, a quicker recovery and return to normal activities.
It allows your surgeon to avoid the scar tissue from a previous hernia repair, so it is often chosen for people with recurrent hernias. If you have hernias on both sides of your body, known as a bilateral hernia, laparoscopic repair allows both hernias to be repaired in a single operation without need for additional incisions.
Hernia Repair Surgery recovery
Your recovery from hernia repair surgery is typically quick. You will usually go home the same day. If you’ve had a general anaesthetic you will need someone to drive you home.
You can recommence your usual activities as soon as you feel able, often within a week. Many patients take a week or two off work.
You may feel tired and washed out for a week or two following your surgery.
Your surgeon will give you post-operative do’s and don’ts for you to follow.
Surgery for a strangulated hernia is a bigger operation and you may need to stay in hospital for four to five days.
What complication can happen after a hernia repair?
Hernia surgery is a routine procedure with both open and laparoscopic techniques working well. However, as with all surgeries there are risks of complications. These may vary depending upon the exact hernia operation you have and your health.
The risk of complication, such as your surgeon accidentally damaging your bowel or bladder during laparoscopic hernia repair surgery is greater than open mesh surgery. Having a laparoscopic hernia repair performed by a surgeon with extensive experience in laparoscopic hernia repairs can reduce the risks.
Often the greatest complication risk is a reoccurrence of the hernia. Your surgeon will have a detailed discussion with you regarding all possible complications before you decide to proceed with surgery.
Hernia Repair with Tees Valley Hospital
At Tees Valley Hospital we work in partnership with surgeons who routinely perform hernia surgery, many of whom are experienced in both open and laparoscopic hernia surgery.
Our patients benefit from the latest facilities of a new hospital. These include: laminar flow theatres, a dedicated endoscopy suite, patient pods and en-suite bedrooms. We also offer our patients a competitive guide package price that includes any outpatient care.
Here at Tees Valley Hospital we can provide our patients with easy access to convenient appointments and surgery if required for a hernia repair.
Contact us to book an appointment.