What you should know
An open herniorrhaphy is surgery to repair a hernia.
Care AgreementYou 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 bleed more than expected during surgery. Your nerves, blood vessels, or organs may get damaged during surgery. You may get an infection or extra fluid in the hernia area. If mesh was used during your surgery and it moves out of place, you may need to have surgery again. You may continue to have pain or numbness in the hernia area. If you are a man, your testicles may swell or become infected. You may get a blood clot in your leg. This may become life-threatening.
- With or without surgery, you may get another hernia. Without this surgery, 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 in the hernia opening. When tissues and organs are trapped, they may become necrotic (the tissue dies). Trapped necrotic tissue and organs may be life-threatening.
The week before your surgery:
- Write down the correct date, time, and location of your surgery.
- Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.
- 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 a CT scan to help plan your surgery. Talk to your caregiver about these or other tests you may need. Write down the date, time, and location for each test.
The night before your surgery:
Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.
The day 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.
- Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
- An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell caregivers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.
What will happen:
Your caregiver will make an incision 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 surgeon may use stitches to tighten tissues and muscles in your abdomen. Weak muscles may be covered with mesh (a natural or artificial material) to help keep tissues and organs in place. Your caregiver may place drains in the surgery area to drain extra fluid. Caregivers will close the incision with stitches and cover it with bandages.
After your surgery:
You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Caregivers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay. When your caregiver sees that you are okay, you will be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room.
Contact a caregiver if
- You cannot make it to your surgery.
- You have a fever.
- You get a cold or the flu.
- You are constipated.
- Your hernia has grown bigger, is more painful, or feels warm to the touch.
Seek Care Immediately if
- You are unable to have a bowel movement.
- You have severe pain in your abdomen.
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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.