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A hernia is an abnormal protrusion of tissues or an organ, happening as a result of internal organs pushing through a weak spot in your muscle or tissue. It can be caused by a number of reasons such as ageing, damage, chronics coughing, pregnancy, obesity, ascites, strenuous exercise or family history of hernia.
The are different type of hernia and the most common occurs in the abdomen area, but it can also be found in the groin, belly button and upper thigh areas.
In many cases, hernia does not cause symptoms and it is not immediately life-threatening. However, hernia can lead to serious complications and it does not go away on it's own. You should see a doctor and treat hernia as soon as possible to avoid possible complications.
The most common symptoms of hernia are:
• bulge or lump in the affected area
• swelling around the groin or scrotum area
• pain around the bulge or lump
• nausea or vomiting
• pain when lifting
• increase in the bulge size over time
Who is it suitable for
✔ Patients who have been diagnosed with hernia
✔ Paints who experience pain in the abdomen or groin area when coughing or lifting
✔ Patients with swelling around the testicles
✔ Patients who experience difficulty pooing or passing wind
✔ Hernia surgery normally takes 1-2 hours but might take longer
✔ Depending on the complexity of the surgery, the procedure can be performed either as outpatient or inpatient (requiring you to stay for a night at the hospital)
✔ Most patients can return to work after one or two weeks if it is a low activity job such as sitting at a desk
✔ You will need to take more time off work if your job involves physical activities
✔ Swelling can remain up to 6 weeks
✔ You should avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activities for about 4 to 6 weeks
Types Of Hernia Surgery
When it comes to hernia there are two main types of surgery. You should always consult with a doctor to determine the best treatment approach for you and to understand associated risks, as well as the possibility of hernia to come back.
Open surgery involves making an incision and pushing back the lump back into the abdomen, and then closing hernia using sutures and mesh. Finally, the incision is closed with sutures.
Keyhole surgery (Laparoscopic)
Laparoscopic surgery involves the use of a tiny camera and surgical equipment to repair the hernia. For this type of surgery, only a few small incisions are made. Laparoscopic surgery is less invasive than open surgery and enables much quicker recover, and reduces the risk of complications such as infection.
Before The Treatment
In many cases, patients will have no or little symptoms. However, hernia can be quite dangerous and cause serious complications if not treated early. You should seek emergency care if you have hernia and experience the following symptoms:
• nausea or vomiting
• sudden pain or fever
• difficulty pooing or passing wind
For planned surgeries, you will need to meet with a surgeon to discuss your treatment plan and perform an examination:
• Medical history - You should provide a complete medical history including your past and current medical conditions, and medications that you might be taking.
• Examination - Your surgeon is going to perform physical examination of the affected area to determine the best treatment approach for you. Physical examination is normally enough for a doctor to diagnose hernia.
• Diagnostics, tests and additional examination - Your doctor may ask you to do additional diagnostics such as ultrasound or X-ray.
• Treatment plan - Your doctor should explain you different types of surgery methods, potential risks, recovery and determine treatment plan for you.
You will be advised by your doctor how to prepare for the procedure which may include dietary and medication requirements. It's recommended that you arrange for help during recovery and drive you home from a hospital.
What does it involve?
There are different types of hernia surgery, but generally the following is involved:
• This procedure is generally performed under either local or general anaesthesia. In most cases, general anaesthesia is used.
• The procedure will start with making incisions in the area where hernia is formed.
• Then the lump is pushed back into the abdomen.
• A mesh can be placed to strengthen abdominal wall.
• Drain tubes may be placed through the incision to drain any excess fluid and blood.
• At the end, sutures are applied to close the incisions.
• A bandage may be applied to reduce swelling and bruising
Hernia operation usually takes 1-2 hours but can take longer. Depending on the type and complexity of your operation, you may go home same day or stay in hospital for a night.
After the treatment
Your recovery and how quickly you can return to work largely depends on your treatment type and complexity of the operation. Most patients can return to work after one or two weeks if it is a low activity job such as sitting at a desk. You will need to take more time off work if your job involves physical activities.
After hernia operation it is common to experience the following symptoms:
After surgery it is likely that you will have a bandage or support corset to reduce swelling and bruising. You may need to take antibiotics after the operation to reduce the risk of infection. Bruising and swelling normally is visible for 2 weeks. You should avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activities for about 4 to 6 weeks.
As with any major surgery, hernia surgery carries risks such as:
• breathing difficulties
• persistent swelling or pain
• hernia may come back again
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