What you should know
- A herniorrhaphy is surgery to repair a hernia. A hernia is a bulge or lump that may be seen or felt under your skin. A hernia forms when your intestine (bowel) or other tissues push through weak muscles in your abdomen. A ventral hernia may be in any area of your abdomen, such as around your belly button. With an inguinal or femoral hernia, your hernia bulges down from your lower abdomen towards your groin. Your groin is the area where your abdomen and upper legs meet at your pelvis or hips. You may get a hernia on one or both sides of your groin. If part of your bowel is trapped inside the hernia, you may need a herniorrhaphy right away.
- Hernias can happen as you age and the muscles in your abdomen weaken. Extra body weight and pressure on the abdomen can also make your muscles weaker. You may have pressure in your abdomen from heavy lifting or long-lasting coughing or straining. During a herniorrhaphy, your caregiver may push your bowel back into your abdomen, or he may cut out your hernia. A herniorrhaphy can decrease abdominal pain, and the area may look and feel better.
You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
- You may be allergic to the anesthesia medicine and have trouble breathing. You may bleed more than expected during surgery. Your nerves, blood vessels, or organs may get damaged. You may get an infection or extra fluid in the area where your hernia was. If mesh was used during your surgery and it moves out of place, you may need to have surgery again. You may have lasting pain or numbness in the area where your hernia was. If you are male, your testicles (glands that hold sperm) may swell or become infected.
- You may get a blood clot in your leg. This can cause pain and swelling, and it can stop blood from flowing where it needs to go in your body. The blood clot may break loose and travel to your lungs or brain. A blood clot in your lungs can cause chest pain and trouble breathing. A blood clot in your brain can cause a stroke. These problems can be life-threatening.
- With or without surgery, you may get another hernia. If you do not have a herniorrhaphy, your pain may increase. Your hernia may burst and cause an infection in your abdomen. Parts of your bowel or other body tissues may get trapped inside the hernia. If your bowel is trapped, you may get an infection. A burst hernia, trapped bowel, or abdominal infection can be life-threatening. Call your caregiver if you have questions or concerns about your herniorrhaphy, condition, or care.
Before your surgery:
- Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
- Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
- Your caregiver may want you to wear a binder (tight support clothing) around your abdomen until surgery.
- Caregivers may do an ultrasound or computed tomography (CT) scan as they plan your surgery. Ask your caregiver for more information about these and other tests you may need.
The night before your surgery:
- Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.
The day of your surgery:
- Write down the correct date, time, and location of your surgery.
- You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
- Ask your caregiver before you take any medicine on the day of your surgery. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital. Caregivers will check that your medicines will not interact poorly with the medicine you need for surgery.
- An anesthesiologist may talk to you before your surgery. This caregiver may give you medicine to make you sleepy before your procedure or surgery. Tell your caregiver if you or anyone in your family has had a problem using anesthesia in the past.
What will happen:
- You may be awake or asleep during surgery. If you are awake, you will be given medicine to numb the surgery area, or you may be numb from your waist down.
- Your caregiver will make an incision (cut) in the skin beside your hernia. Bulging tissues and extra fat from the hernia will be removed. If your hernia contains an organ part, such as bowel, the organ will be pushed back into place. The hernia will be cut out. Your caregiver may use stitches to tighten tissues and muscles in your abdomen. Weak muscles may be covered with mesh (a natural or man-made material) to help keep tissues and organs in place. Your caregiver may place drains in the surgery area to drain out extra fluid. Caregivers will close the cut with stitches, and cover the wound with bandages.
After your surgery:
You will be taken to a room to rest. Do not get out of bed until caregivers say it is okay. When caregivers see that you are okay, you may be able to go home. If you are staying in the hospital, you will be taken to your room. Caregivers may help you start walking soon after surgery.
This is an area where your family and friends can wait until you are able to have visitors. Ask your visitors to provide a way to reach them if they leave the waiting area.
Contact a caregiver if
- You cannot make it to surgery.
- You have a fever.
- You are constipated. This means that you are having hard, dry stools, less often than usual, that are difficult to pass.
- Your hernia has grown bigger, is more painful, or feels warm to touch.
Seek Care Immediately if
- You are unable to have a bowel movement.
- You have severe (very bad) pain in your abdomen.
© 2013 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of the Blausen Databases or Truven Health Analytics.
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
Learn more about Open Herniorrhaphy (Precare)
Related encyclopedia articles: