In most cases, hernia is not immediately serious. However surgical treatment option is sometimes suggested to cope with. Non-surgical treatments can also help control the disease, preventing it from worsening – but they don’t cure the problem. If your doctor asks you to take hernia surgery, there are some precautions to remember. One of frequently asked questions, can you smoke before your surgery?
About hernia surgery
Your doctor will usually be able to diagnose a hernia through a physical exam of the affected area, looking for any bulge that may signal the problem. You’re usually asked to strain, cough, or stand so the bulge of hernia becomes more prominent.
In some cases, additional tests may be required to provide accurate diagnosis. For example, your doctor may refer to a special lab for imaging test (like an ultrasound scan, MRI, or CT scan) to help analyze the extent of the problem. This is particularly true if the diagnosis of the problem is not readily apparent.
Once your diagnosis has been clearly confirmed, your doctor will determine the most appropriate treatments to cope with.
When does the problem need surgery?
Sometimes doctors may recommend watchful waiting or just applying manual pressure to ease the bulge before considering surgical procedure, because there are some risks of surgical treatment that may outweigh the benefits, though most hernias won’t get better with only non-surgical treatments!
However, again surgery is one of the main treatment options to treat hernia and prevent its serious complications. In general, the decision of whether or not you need surgery depends on a number of factors. The main ones include:
- Non-surgical treatment may be suggested as long as the problem isn’t bothering you. But surgery is usually recommended if the problem worsens, gets larger in size, or has caused severe symptoms that bother you a lot.
- Though there is a chance for any types of hernia to cause serious complications, some are more likely to turn into serious than others and therefore aggressive treatment such as early surgery is required. See also types of hernia in here!
- The hernia content! If it contains a part of important organs such as intestine or bowel, this may cause obstruction (strangulation) and other serious complications if left untreated.
- The general health status of patient. For example, if you have poor general health, surgery could put you at too much of a risk.
- Sometimes the age of patient matters, too. For example, surgery for inguinal hernia in infants is often required because infants younger than age 6 months are more likely to have strangulation.
Types of hernia surgery
In general there are two main types of hernia surgery can be carried out, open surgery and laparoscopy.
Open surgery is the conventional procedure of surgery in which the surgeon makes a long incision to insert surgical instruments. You may take it with local or general anesthesia. Your surgeon will makes an incision in the affected area so the bulge can be pushed back to the right place. Then the weakened area is sewn, sometimes also reinforced with a hernioplasty (synthetic mesh). If necessary, surgical glue or stitches can be used to help close the opening.