Inguinal and Incisional Hernia Operations
An inguinal hernia is a protrusion of abdominal cavity contents through the inguinal canal, which is a passage towards the front of the abdominal wall. An incisional hernia is the result of a surgical wound that has not completely healed and creates an area of weakness through which abdominal cavity contents protrude.
A hernia repair is often performed as outpatient surgery and there are a number of different surgical strategies that can be used to repair the hernia. Laparoscopic incisional hernia repair is a method that can be performed on hernias that consists of placing surgical mesh under the abdominal muscles through small incisions.
There are also different types of open hernia repair including tension repair, tension-free repair, Lichtenstein repair, and tension-free mesh repair. Depending on your medical history, the type of hernia and where it’s located, the doctor will recommend an appropriate method of treatment.
The doctor will discuss what to do and expect post-procedure. Post-op pain will be the most intense for the first three to five days after the procedure and the doctor will prescribe you pain medication. The post-op bandage should not be removed until 48 hours after surgery. Small pieces of tape will be covering dissolvable stitches; do not remove this tape, as it will fall off on its own in five to seven days.
Some fluid, swelling or discoloration around the incision is generally normal, however, if the fluid becomes thicker, smells fowl, or increases, you should call the doctor. Regarding personal hygiene, you may shower at any time, but cannot take a bath for at least two weeks. The clear plastic bandage and paper tapes are waterproof.
You should not drive while on pain medication. The first day after surgery you should rest, and after that, keep in mind that you should not lift anything heavier than ten pound,s or perform any strenuous activity for at least a week. Laparoscopic surgery patients do not have physical activity limitations but should stop any activity if it causes soreness.
You should contact the doctor immediately if you experience a persistent fever over 101 degrees, pain that is not relieved by medication, increased swelling at the incision site, chills, persistent nausea or vomiting, redness surrounding the incision that is worsening, pus drainage from the incision, or have an inability to eat or drink. Complications can include possible nerve damage and the recurrence of another hernia.