Things to Do Before Hernia Surgery : Health complications can arise at any point in life. Sometimes such problems might occur due to a genetic predisposition towards a disease or health problem and some other times a certain lifestyle may result in such a predicament. When a child is born with a certain disease, it is known as congenital disease or defect.
In a lot of instances such a defect is corrected by surgery few weeks after birth. A common example of that are heart defects. Another congenital anomaly is congenital diaphragmatic hernia, which is repaired soon after birth by surgery.
Newborns are not the only ones that can suffer from hernia. Hernia can develop at any age and to any individual and is characterized as a bulge that is often a fatty tissue or organ protruding through a muscle wall that is weak due to some reason (genetic or lifestyle; weightlifting etc.). Most common type of hernia is the abdominal hernia.
Types of Hernia
- Umbilical Hernia: Near the belly button
- Femoral Hernia: In the upper thigh
- Inguinal Hernia: Near the lower belly or in the groin area
- Incisional Hernia: Around scar from an earlier surgery
- Epigastric Hernia: In the upper or middle belly
- Hiatal Hernia: Bulging of stomach through the diaphragm into the chest
Hernia may be painful or you may not feel any pain at all. Most of the hernias require surgery, especially if they are painful. Those who experience chronic constipation and coughing, vomiting, abdominal surgeries, are obese or move and lift heavy objects are more predisposed to hernia formation. Primary healthcare professionals, who suggest further course of action in accordance with severity of pain and how the bulge appears and acts during certain movements, usually perform hernia diagnosis. The surgery however, is the domain of a general surgeon who operates and repairs the hernia.
The surgery depends upon various factors such as size, type and location of hernia. There are a few things you should be aware of before going for a hernia surgery.
- Type of Surgery
It is usually your primary care physician who suggests which hernia repair surgery should be performed depending upon the clinical situation. The physician could suggest either “herniorrhaphy”, an open surgery procedure where a large cut is made to repair the hernia or laproscopy that involves making small incisions to repair the bulge.
In herniorrhaphy, general anesthesia is given to perform the surgery during which the hernia is pushed back, tied off or entirely removed. It involves the stitching of the weak muscles that allowed the hernia to form. Sometimes even a flexible mesh is added to avoid recurrence. Laparoscopic surgery involves inflating the abdomen with a gas that gives a better view as the surgery is performed by inserting a thin tube with a camera. The recovery time from laproscopy is much less as compared to an open surgery.
As is the case with any surgery, infection is a risk. Therefore, extreme care must be taken to avoid getting the wound infected. Furthermore, before getting registered for a surgery make sure that the healthcare unit has all the facilities to deal with emergencies and is stringent with all healthcare practices. Infection not only aggravates the problem but also creates more issues.
Before surgery make sure that the surgeon and the physician are fully aware of all the medicines that you have been taking prior to a few weeks before the surgery. It so often happens that you are required to stop taking certain medicines before the surgical procedure as they can interfere with the procedure and the drugs that are given during the surgery. In addition to the medicines/drugs, your doctor must also know any natural healthcare products you have been using.
You should be aware that it might sometimes be the case that the pain of the surgery may not go away when the internal and external wounds heal. The hernia surgery may help in avoiding the complications that arise because of hernia but the pain can persist in some cases. According to healthcare experts, chronic pain associated with hernia surgery is due to damage of certain nerves because of the surgery. It may be the case that you will be on lifelong pain management medication after hernia surgery.
If the muscles or the connective tissue walls are weak, the hernia may recur even after a surgery. As a person suffering from hernia, you should know that surgery to repair and remove hernia is not a permanent solution. The risk for recurrence can however be halved by inserting a mesh.
- Follow the instructions
On the surgery day, strictly follow the instructions of your surgeon given to you verbally and if you have them in written form, go through them before going to the hospital. As with most surgeries and particularly abdominal surgeries, food must be strictly avoided a day before the surgery. Also, avoid applying any external products on the body. Trust your doctor and do not go above and beyond the instructions, that is, if you have been advised to take some medicines do so diligently. The doctor is more aware of the procedure and complications than you are so avoid the Google doctor and listen and follow your healthcare provider.
Hernia diagnosis is not a cause of great concern. Going through medical literature or a candid talk with your healthcare physician will help you in adjusting to the issue. Surgery may seem daunting but in order to avoid pain and possible serious complications, it is best to go for it than to delay or disregard it.
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