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A hernia is tissue that pushes through a weak part of the abdominal wall. Hernia repair is surgery to put the tissue back in its normal position.
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This is done to treat hernias that are large or cause pain.
Sometimes a hernia becomes trapped. This cuts off blood flow to the tissue. It is called a strangulated hernia. It needs surgery right away.
Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:
Things that may raise the risk of problems are:
The surgical team may meet with you to talk about:
The anesthesia used depends on how the repair is done. The doctor may give:
The surgery may be done one of two ways:
An incision will be made in the belly. The tissue will be moved back into place. Weaker muscles may be sewn together. Mesh may be used to help create a new belly wall.
The incision will be closed with stitches or staples. A bandage will be placed over the site.
Small incisions will be made around the site. A tube will be passed through one of the incisions. It will push gas into the belly. This will make it easier for the doctor to view the area. A camera will allow the doctor to see inside the belly. Other tools will be passed through the incisions. They will be used to repair the area. Tissue will be pushed back into place. The belly wall will be closed.
The incisions will be closed with stitches or staples. A bandage will be placed over the site.
Less than 2 hours
Pain and swelling are common in the first few days. Medicine and home care help
Most people will be able to go home the same day. If you have problems, you may need to stay longer.
After laparoscopic surgery, it may take about a week to recover. Open surgery may take a bit longer.
During recovery, you will need to avoid straining and heavy lifting.
Right after the procedure, the staff may give you pain medicines.
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to lower your risk of infection, such as:
There are also steps you can take to lower your risk of infection, such as:
It will take two weeks for the incision and muscles to fully heal. Physical activity will be limited during this time. You may need to delay return to work.
Call your doctor if you are not getting better or you have:
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
Americas Hernia Society
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
Groin hernia in adults and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/groin-hernia-in-adults-and-adolescents. Accessed January 8, 2021.
Inguinal repair surgery information. Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons website. Available at: https://www.sages.org/publications/patient-information/patient-information-for-laparoscopic-inguinal-hernia-repair-from-sages. Accessed January 8, 2021.
Kokotovic D, Bisgaard T, et al. Long-term recurrence and complications associated with elective incisional hernia repair. JAMA. 2016;316(15):1575-1582
Laparoscopic surgery for hernia repair. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/6905-laparoscopic-surgery-for-hernia-repair. Accessed January 8, 2021.
Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD