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This operation treats a hernia. A hernia forms when your abdominal wall weakens, bulges, or tears. This causes the inner lining of the abdomen to protrude and form a sac outside of the abdomen. Abdominal contents, such as the small intestine, can move into and get stuck in this sac.
Hernias can occur in different areas, like:
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This is done to repair the hernia. You will have surgery to prevent the hernia from becoming “strangulated” (pinched so that the blood supply is cut off). If strangulation happens, you will need immediate surgery. Without surgery, the hernia will not heal. The pain and size of the hernia usually increases over time.
Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a hernia repair, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
Your doctor may do the following:
On the days before and the day of your procedure, your doctor may recommend that you:
Depending on the type of repair, you may receive:
An incision is made over the hernia site. The hernia will be moved back into the abdominal cavity, or the sac may be removed. The muscles around the hernia are sewn together. This will repair the hole or weakness. If the hernia is large or in the groin, a piece of mesh will be inserted. If mesh is used, the muscle is not sewn together.
A laparoscope is a thin tube-shaped object with a camera on the end. It will be inserted through a small incision. The doctor will be able to see the hernia on a nearby TV. Small instruments will be inserted through other small incisions. These tools will be used to complete the repair.
After the procedure, the incisions will be closed with stitches or staples. A sterile dressing will be applied.
You will be taken to a recovery area. There you will receive fluids and pain medicines through an IV. If there are no problems, you will be moved to a hospital room to recover.
Less than two hours
Anesthesia prevents pain during surgery. You may feel pain during recovery, but taking pain medicine will help.
Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions. When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
The recovery time will be shorter for laparoscopic surgery.
There is some risk that the hernia could return. To reduce your risk:
After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
The Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
The causes and surgical treatment of abdominal hernia. American Medical Association website. Available at: http://www.medem.com/medlb/article_detaillb.cfm?article_ID=ZZZESG4TWAC&sub_cat=195. Accessed November 10, 2005.
Hernia. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: http://www.clevelandclinic.org/health/health-info/docs/3600/3619.asp. Updated June 2008. Accessed June 9, 2008.
Hernia repair. American College of Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.medem.com/medlb/article_detaillb.cfm?article_ID=ZZZBTQW1RWC&sub_cat=195. Accessed November 10, 2005.
Last reviewed October 2012 by Peter Lucas, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © 2012 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.
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