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Open Herniorrhaphy


An open herniorrhaphy is surgery to repair a hernia.


Before your surgery:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
  • Anesthesia is medicine to make you comfortable during the surgery. Healthcare providers will work with you to decide which anesthesia is best for you.
    • General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Anesthesia may be given through your IV. You may instead breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.
    • Local anesthesia is a shot of medicine put into the surgery area. It is used to numb the area and dull the pain. You may still feel pressure or pushing during surgery.

During your surgery:

Your healthcare provider 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 healthcare provider may place drains in the surgery area to drain extra fluid. Healthcare providers will close the cut with stitches and cover the wound with bandages.

After your surgery:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Healthcare providers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. When your healthcare provider sees that you are okay, you will be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room.

  • You may need to walk around the same day of surgery , or the day after. Movement will help prevent blood clots. You may also be given exercises to do in bed. Do not get out of bed on your own until your healthcare provider says you can. Talk to healthcare providers before you get up the first time. They may need to help you stand up safely. When you are able to get up on your own, sit or lie down right away if you feel weak or dizzy. Then press the call light button to let healthcare providers know you need help.
  • Drains are thin rubber tubes put into your skin to drain fluid from around your incision. The drains are taken out when the incision stops draining.
  • Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.
  • Antinausea medicine helps calm your stomach and prevents vomiting.


  • 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.


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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Open Herniorrhaphy (Inpatient Care)

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