Hernia FAQ

Q1. I am a 25 yr old sportsman. I noticed a lump in my groin 3 days ago. My family physician diagnosed it as hernia & advised surgical opinion want to know what a Hernia is?

Hernia is a protrusion of contents of the abdomen through a weakness or tear in its muscles forming a lump underneath the skin. Mostly it is seen in groin but it may be present on abdominal wall above, at or below umbilicus & at the site of surgical scars.

Q2. I have a Hernia near my naval but it is painless, soft & disappears on lying down, very rarely it swells turgid or pains. Do I still have to go for surgery?

Most of the Hernias, irrespective of the site, are painless to start with. The main symptom is a bulge which comes on straining and disappears on lying down. As the treatment of hernia is surgical it is better to undergo surgery when it is uncomplicated. The possible complications include obstruction or strangulation which may be life threatening.

Q3. Is surgery a must for a Hernia and what are the options which I can choose from?

A. Depending on the type & location of Hernia, your surgeon will decide the type of repair. On a broader spectrum we can understand that Hernias can be repaired by open surgical method or by Minimal access surgery (keyhole surgery).Modern surgical practices use reinforcement in the form of polypropolene meshes.
In our hospital we prefer, to perform minimal or laparoscopic surgery for all our patients if they are fit to tolerate general anaesthesia.

Q4. How long it will take to recover after Hernia surgery?

Depending on the type of repair, the period varies from3-5 days. In laproscopic surgery, it is much faster and in open cases it may take little longer.

Q5. When can I return to work after surgery?

If you have a desk job, 3-5 days is the time frame we are looking at. But if your job demands heavy physical activity like lifting weight and all you are away from work for 4 to 6 weeks.

Q6. I have a Hernia surgery planned next week. Can I drive back home after discharge?

We usually advise our patients to abstain from driving for 48hrs till the effect of anaesthesia subsides & their movements become comfortable.

Q7. Can my Hernia be repaired using single incision laproscopy?

Depending on the size of Hernia and fitness of the patient SILS can be offered. We prefer SILS using Single port multiple incision technique.

Q8. I delivered my 2nd baby an year ago and noticed a lump by the side of previous surgery scar. Doctor suggested repair using a mesh. I am scared to have a foreign body inside what to do?

It is now a common practice to use meshes which are made of synthetic materials like polypropelene or polyester to reinforce the Hernia repair. Person who is having Hernia has a inherent defect in cementing substance called collagen, mesh provides a lattice for body fibres to grow in between & render a stronger repair. As the meshes are biologically inert, they are harmless if left in body for good.

Q9. My father was operated for Hernia long back. Do I need to undergo checkup to rule out the same? Is hernia hereditary?

You may have more chances of developing Hernia than normal population but it is not hereditary. Factors which are causing intra-abdominal strains like pregnancy, obesity, coughing, urinary obstructions may all lead to Hernia if there is a weakness in the wall. Some Hernias may be present from birth & are called Congenital Hernias.

Q10. My mother is 55yrs old & she has been operated for Ventral Hernia twice but it has recurred. She has a 12cm defect in the midline. What kind of repair will solve her problem?

Old age, obesity and hereditary predisposition causes Hernias to recur. In your case latest surgical technique of Component Separation should do the trick. In this type of repair, we mobilize the muscles of the abdominal wall in such a way that we can achieve closure in the midline using normal muscles & sheath and reinforce the same by use of meshes. This technique is a boon for people having large defects, recurrent Hernias & is gaining popularity worldwide.

Q11. I have noticed that my belly button becomes prominent on standing & coughing. I have read on internet & it looks like Hernia. What tests should I do to confirm my diagnosis?

Mostly Hernias are diagnosed on clinical examination & do not require any sophisticated investigations to confirm the diagnosis. We may get some help by doing tests like sonography, CT scan and MRI of the abdomen. Though they are mandatory in complicated, obstructed and recurrent cases, they are not usually required in uncomplicated cases like yours.


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