Looking for more information on hernias and hernia treatment? When a hernia does not go away on its own, then surgery is the only treatment available to permanently repair a hernia. Many people who are in need of hernia surgery choose to undergo laparoscopic surgery, as this type of surgery is minimally invasive.Wondering just how…
How Serious Is a Hernia Repair? [Hernia Surgery]
You are about to undergo hernia repair surgery, and you have some questions. Mainly, you want to know how serious the surgery is. All surgeries come with some risks. That is true, even if you only undergo something as simple as cataract surgery. Learn about the risks and recovery time for the two types of hernia surgery.
Hernia repair surgery risks and recovery time
Patients can undergo open or laparoscopic hernia repair surgery. The surgery selected depends on the location and size of the hernia. Both surgeries have potential complications, but most people recover quickly. Get the details of each surgery.
Open hernia repair
Open hernia repair is the most common option for patients. This procedure can be conducted under sedation or local anesthesia. Surgeons make a 4-5 cm incision to reach the hernia and repair it. The surgery normally takes 30 to 45 minutes.
Possible risks include blood clots, infection and hernia reoccurrence. Patients should expect to experience some pain following open hernia repair surgery as well. Approximately two-thirds of patients experience moderate pain immediately following the surgery. The pain typically gets better within days.
Many are surprised that open hernia repair is normally a same-day surgery. Patients are typically discharged a few hours after the procedure but should not overexert themselves. Patients can expect to wait up to three weeks before returning to normal activities. It might be six weeks before patients can engage in strenuous activities.
Laparoscopic surgery is less common because of the advanced training it requires. This minimally invasive surgery is performed under general anesthesia. It requires a 1-2 cm incision along with two or more punctures. The surgeon uses a laparoscope connected to a camera to see inside the patient. Small laparoscopic instruments are used to repair the hernia. Laparoscopic surgery is slightly longer than open surgery, taking up to one hour to perform.
This surgery also has a low risk of infection, blood clots and reoccurrence. General anesthesia also comes with some risks. Potential risks include breathing problems during and following the surgery. The surgeon checks the patient’s overall health to determine if they are good candidates for general anesthesia. Factors like heart disease, seizures, lung conditions and high blood pressure increase the risk.
Approximately one-third of patients have moderate pain following the procedure. This is also an outpatient surgery and patients often recover within days. Most patients return to work within a week of undergoing laparoscopic hernia repair. It can take up to four weeks for the patient to be ready for strenuous activities.
Getting a hernia repair
As with any surgical procedure, you need to weigh the risks of getting surgery against the risks of not treating your condition. Failing to repair a hernia can lead to serious complications. For many, the potential risks are less serious than the possibility of developing a strangulated hernia. If you are unsure if you should get a repair, talk to your doctor.
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