Open Hernia Surgery
About Open Hernia Surgery
To treat a hernia, your doctor may push the hernia back into its normal location and have you wear a belt to hold the hernia in place.
However, surgical repair is recommended for hernias that cause pain and other symptoms, and for irreducible hernias (structures cannot be returned to their normal locations) that are incarcerated or strangulated. Surgery aims at closure and repair of the muscle wall through which the hernia protrudes.
Open surgery for hernia, also called Herniorrhaphy, can be done under general or local anaesthesia. Your surgeon makes an incision of about 5-10 cm long (depending on the size of the hernia) to view and access the surgical site. Your surgeon pushes the part of the intestine that protrudes back into its normal position and repairs the weakened muscle layer by sewing the edges of the healthy muscle wall together. A synthetic mesh is often placed and sewn over the weakened area to provide additional support and strength, by a procedure called hernioplasty. The incision is closed after the procedure using dissolvable stitches.
Following surgery, you
- Can take a shower only after 48 hours post-surgery
- Can go home the day of the procedure
- Should avoid driving while taking pain killers as they induce drowsiness
- Can resume daily activities slowly while strenuous activities should be resumed only after consultation with your surgeon
- Use ice pack on the wound to reduce pain, prevent swelling and to lessen bloody discharge from the incision if present
- Recover in about 3 weeks
Risks and Complications
Like most surgical procedures, hernia repair is associated with the following risks and complications:
- Reaction to anaesthesia
- Bleeding at operation site
- Nerve damage and numbness of skin
- Damage to surrounding tissue
Although the recurrence of hernias is seen in less than 5% of patients after surgery, you would need to follow preventive measures.