Hernia surgery

November 12, 2012

Hernia surgery

A hernia occurs when a weakness or tear in the muscle or tissue surrounding an organ allows the organ to protrude through that weakness. As the weakness becomes more pronounced over time so the hernia will become more obvious – hernias are often unsightly and may be painful. The only successful treatment for this condition is hernia surgery – delaying hernia surgery may even lead to serious and dangerous medical complications, including strangulation of the hernia, this occurs when the blood supply to the hernia is compromised.

One peculiar characteristic of hernias is that they can appear as if they are coming and going – the hernia may appear to have disappeared or may be visible as a bulge under the skin. Hernias can occur in both men and women in equal measure.

Types of hernia

Hernias all have the same basic cause – a weakening of the abdominal wall, however, the location of the hernia will determine the type of hernia present.

  • An incisional hernia occurs at the site of previous abdominal surgery

  • An umbilical hernia occurs around the belly button and is frequently seen in newborn infants and the obese.

  • A direct inguinal hernia is the result of the intestine bulging through the lower abdominal wall

  • A femoral hernia occurs in the thigh and is generally thought of as a groin hernia

  • An indirect inguinal hernia occurs as the intestine pushes through the wall of the inguinal canal.

Surgery

Hernia surgery is the only treatment recommended for any type of hernia and involves the contents of the hernia being forced back into the body cavity and the weakened area is then surgically closed. Hernia surgery uses a mesh patch to secure the weakness permanently; this poses no long-term risk of damage.

Post hernia surgery

After undergoing hernia surgery, it is important to follow the instructions of your medical practitioner during the recovery period. For the first day or so, you will no doubt be encouraged to rest. However, on the second day following hernia surgery you should endeavour to get up and move around as much as possible. Using slow careful movements, you should gently increase your levels of activity in order to strengthen the area around the hernia and prevent a reoccurrence of the condition.

Pain following exercise

If, after undergoing surgery for your hernia, you are still experiencing pain during, or after exercise, you may need to determine which type of exercise is causing the pain. If you find that heavier, more strenuous exercise is causing pain and discomfort then you should stop doing that type of activity, whilst continuing with light exercise until you are fully recovered from your procedure.

If light exercise continues to cause pain you should rest for a couple of days before trying again – if pain and discomfort is still present you may need to seek medical advice. Pain after exercise is generally no cause for concern – however if you are concerned, or if you the hernia appears to be re-emerging then it is essential that you speak to your medical practitioner.

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