Have you recently been diagnosed with an inguinal hernia that needs operative repair? If so, you aren't alone; this surgery is one of the most common medical procedures in the world. As with any medical procedure, though, it's normal to feel worried and seek answers to common questions. Get all those questions answered right here in one place by reading the information below.
Your Hernia Doesn't Hurt -- Do You Really Need Surgery?
While some people with hernias experience intense pain and can actually see a bulge protruding in their abdomen, others have no symptoms at all. However, having no symptoms is certainly no reason to not go through with your surgery.
Inguinal hernias can worsen over time, eventually leading to life-threatening medical consequences. Not only should you allow your doctor to schedule surgery, but you should suggest that he or she schedule it as soon as possible.
What Does The Surgery Entail?
There are two types of inguinal surgeries commonly performed in the United States: open surgery and laparoscopic surgery.
In open inguinal hernia surgery, you will be anesthetized before your surgeon makes a single incision in your abdomen. He or she will then manually reinsert the protruding intestine back into its membrane and then cover the area with a piece of medical mesh. The medical mesh alleviates the strain of closing the torn membrane by securing it to itself, and strengthens the intestinal wall to prevent the hernia from recurring.
Your surgeon will then close up the incision they made, and you'll be prescribed some pain medications. You can resume normal activities immediately after open inguinal hernia surgery.
Laparoscopic inguinal hernia surgery is a little different. It still requires you to be anesthetized, but instead of making a single, large incision in your abdomen, your surgeon will make a series of tiny incisions in your abdomen. Through those incisions, he or she will then place a tiny camera and other surgical tools. These tools will be used to correct your herniated intestine, and to place medical mesh over the torn intestinal wall.
When hernia correction is complete, you'll be sutured up and, as with open hernia surgery, can resume your daily activities right away.
What Kind Of Anesthesia Will You Need?
If you've been looking all over the Internet for answers to your questions, you may have come across information claiming that open hernia repair is a better option than laparoscopic hernia repair because it can be performed under local anesthesia while laparoscopic surgery must be performed under general anesthesia only.
This simply isn't true. While the statement was once thought to be accurate, medical science now knows that favorable outcomes can be achieved with the use of local anesthesia during laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair surgery.
What Are The Odds That Your Hernia Will Reoccur?
It is estimated that about 15 percent of patients who undergo hernia repair surgery have recurrences. While most medical professionals believe that there is no difference in recurrence rates between open and laparoscopic surgery, there is a small amount of literature that indicates laparoscopic hernia surgery may have a slightly higher recurrence rate than open hernia surgery.
So, Which Type Of Surgery Is Best For You?
There are a lot of considerations your doctor will make when determining which surgical procedure to recommend for your inguinal hernia. Among them are your overall health, your activity level, the risk of you having more, undetected hernias, and your doctor's level of experience with each type of surgery. There is no standard answer; you'll need to sit down with your doctor and discuss your personal circumstances to find out which procedure is best for you.
Don't be afraid of inguinal hernia surgery. It's a common procedure, performed everyday around the world. Do, however, educate yourself about the surgery so you know what to expect by reading the above information and seeking guidance from your doctor for any farther concerns. For more information, contact a local clinic like Premier Surgical Associates.
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