What is an Inguinal Hernia?
A hernia occurs when tissue bulges out through an opening in the muscles. Any part of the abdominal wall can weaken and develop a hernia, but the most common sites for an inguinal hernia is the groin or a previous surgical incision site in or near this area.
What are the common symptoms of an inguinal hernia?
- Visible bulge in the scrotum or groin area, especially with coughing or straining
- Pain or pressure at the hernia site
What are my treatment options?
There may be situations where you do not need invasive techniques to treat your hernia, observation may be a temporary option as hernia’s do not heal on their own.
- Open hernia repair
- An incision is made near the site and the hernia is repaired with mesh or by suturing (sewing) the muscle closed.
- Laparoscopic hernia repair
- The hernia repair uses mesh or sutures inserted through instruments placed into small incisions in the abdomen.
Watchful waiting is a safe and acceptable option for adults with inguinal hernias that are not uncomfortable. Many patients become symptomatic after the first 1 to 2 years and crossover to surgery due to increased pain on exertion, chronic constipation or urinary symptoms.
What are the benefits and risks of my operation?
Benefits — An operation is the only way to repair a hernia. You can return to your normal activities and in most cases will not have further discomfort.
Possible risks — Return of the hernia; infection; injury to the bladder, blood vessels, intestines or nerves, difficulty passing urine, continued pain, and swelling of the testes or groin area.
Risks of not having an operation — Your hernia may cause pain and increase in size. If your intestine becomes trapped in the hernia pouch you will have sudden pain, vomiting, and need an immediate operation.
What to expect before your surgery
- Evaluation may include blood work and urinalysis.
- Dr. Kolachalam and your anesthesia provider will discuss:
- Your health history
- Home medications
- Pain control options.
- Dr. Kolachalam may need to perform a few tests to confirm his diagnosis
- Digital Exam
- Blood tests
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)— for patients over 45 or if high risk of heart problems
- Computerized tomography (CT) scan
What to expect the day of your surgery
- You will not eat or drink for 6 hours before the operation.
- Most often you will take your normal medication with a sip of water.
- You will need someone to drive you home.
What to expect for your recovery
- If you do not have complications you usually will go home the same day.
- Call Dr. Kolachalam if you have:
- severe pain
- stomach cramping
- high fever (over 101°F or 38.3°C)
- increased drainage from your incision
- no bowel movements for 3 days