Hernia repair is a commonly performed surgical procedure. According to the American College of Surgeons, approximately one million hernia repairs are performed annually in the United States. If you have a hernia, you may be contemplating surgery to repair it. Here are six questions you need to ask your surgeon before booking surgery.
There are different hernias, but every type requires a different surgical approach. An inguinal hernia is a more common type, which occurs when tissue protrudes through a weak spot in the groin area. Femoral, incisional, umbilical, and Hiatal hernias are some of the other types of hernias you might get.
Hernia repair is usually safe, but there are risks and complications, as with any surgery. Inquire with your provider about the risks of surgery and what you can do to mitigate them. Infection, bleeding, pain, and recurrence are all possible side effects of hernia surgery.
You may not need surgery if your hernia is small and not causing any symptoms. Your doctor may advise you to wait and see if the hernia worsens. If your hernia is large or causing pain, you may be a candidate for laparoscopic hernia repair, a minimally invasive procedure. To repair the hernia, small incisions and special instruments are used. This helps reduce infection risks as well as decrease healing time.
Most hernia patients can return home the same day. You may experience pain and swelling following surgery, but this should subside within a few days. Your provider will provide detailed instructions on caring for your incision and when you can resume normal activities. Be careful to follow all instructions given by your surgeon.
Hernia surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning you will not be required to stay in the hospital overnight. The surgery takes only a few hours, but you may need to stay in the recovery room for a few hours afterward.
The possibility of your hernia returning after surgery is low. However, they are significantly greater if you have had numerous hernia surgeries or if hernias run in your family. Inquire with your provider about the likelihood of your hernia returning and the steps you can take to lower your risk.
Discuss your treatment options with your provider if you have a hernia. Hernia surgery is generally safe and effective, but before planning surgery, ask questions and learn about the risks.