Hernia surgery can be frightening, especially for patients who have never had a surgical procedure done before. However, if you know what to expect from your surgery, it becomes a lot less scary. In this article, we are going to discuss what you can expect before, during, and after a typical hernia surgery.
Prior to your hernia surgery you may be experiencing some pain and discomfort from the hernia itself. Use NSAIDs and anything else your doctor recommends or prescribes to control the pain before your operation. You will likely have a pre-surgical meeting with your surgeon. Feel free to ask any questions you might have about the procedure during this meeting.
Your surgeon will also give you a list of instructions to follow before your procedure – for example, you may be told not to eat or drink anything but water the night before your surgery. You will also need to contact your primary care physician prior to surgery to obtain a pre operative physical exam.Follow these instructions to the letter.
During the Hernia Procedure
The specifics of your procedure depend on the type of hernia surgery you are having done. Surgical techniques vary based on the location of the hernia (inguinal hernias require a different strategy than umbilical hernias, for example). That being said, there are a few general things you can expect from all hernia surgeries:
- You may be put under with general anesthesia so you remain unconscious for the entire procedure or you may be heavily sedated during the procedure.
- The surgeon will make a small incision near the herniated area in order to access the hernia itself.
- The herniated tissue will be put back in its rightful place, and the muscle wall repaired or patched.
After surgery your surgeon will provide you with a list of post-op instructions. These instructions will include directions on lifting, showering and resuming exercise. It will also include strategies to treat post operative pain and swelling. It is imperative that you stick to these recommendations above all else. Your surgeon knows your medical situation better than anyone, and will give you better instructions than your friend or an article on WebMD. If you notice any severe pain in the days and weeks following your procedure, contact your surgeon’s office to let them know.