By Dr. Apoorv Goel, General Surgery
An inguinal hernia is the result of the tissue, protruding through the weak spot of the abdominal muscles. The bulge that crops up as a result, can be painful when a person coughs, lift a heavy object or try to bend over in general. This form of a hernia is not very dangerous. If it does not improve on its own, surgical intervention is necessary. There could be two kinds of surgeries- open and laparoscopic. Lack of treatment can have life-threatening consequences.
Open hernia surgery:
In case of an open hernia surgery, an incision is made by the surgeon in the groin. If in case, the hernia is on the verge of bulging out of the abdominal wall, it is pushed back to its original position. If a hernia makes its way through the inguinal canal, it is removed entirely or pushed back to its original position. The weak spot of the muscle wall is repaired by replacing it with healthy tissue. This process is known as herniorrhaphy. This procedure is only possible, where a hernia is smaller in size and the muscle wall can be stitched. Surgical approach largely varies depending on the position of a hernia and the condition of the muscle wall. For large hernias, mesh patches made up of synthetic material is deployed to heal the weakened muscles. The patch decreases the tension in the belly wall. The recovery time can be 2-3 days based on the size of a hernia.
Laparoscopic hernia surgery:
In this procedure, a surgeon inflates the abdomen with a harmless gas. It helps the surgeon to get a better visibility of the organs. Small incisions are made near the region of a hernia, and a thin tube with a small camera is inserted. The tube with the camera is termed as a laparoscope. As soon as the tube is inserted, the surgeon can witness the image of the hernia-affected region. With a clear visibility in the areasite, the surgeon uses meshes that are synthetic in nature to repair a hernia. The healing time for the laparoscopic procedure is usually less, compared to open surgeries.
Typically, a general anesthesia is used during this procedure,- both for open and laparoscopic. It is wise to let the anesthesia provider know about critical conditions such as stomach problem, endocrine disease, tooth problem, neurological disease, etc. well in advance.
Post the operation:
A patient is generally given a small amount of rink, once he regains consciousness. If the condition of the patient is not very critical, he can resume regular diet right from day 1 post the surgery. It is advised by most doctors to consume at least 8-10 glasses of water for 8-10 days after the surgery. High fiber diet is also recommended to ensure regular bowel movement.