A hernia occurs when an organ or another piece of tissue protrudes through a weak spot or an opening in the muscle wall. The bulge that appears through this opening may contain a piece of intestine or fatty lining of the colon if the hernia occurs in the abdominal area.
The abdominal wall is made of different muscle and tissue layers. Weak spots may occur in time and let the contents of abdominal cavity to herniate or protrude. Hernias might be present at birth and can also develop in time.
It often takes 1 or 2 years for hernias to cause noticable and infurating symptoms. For some people such symptoms can only be noticable during activities, such as exersicing. Small hernias might not even cause any symptoms.
Following symptoms and factors may indicate the necessity for a hernia repair operation;
- long-term hernia pain and/or discomfort
- pain and/or discomfort that interferes with daily activities
- pain and/or discomfort that increases over time
- sizeable hernias
- fast-growing hernias
- sharp abdominal pain and vomiting
- hernias that pressurise nerves and cause irritation/numbness
- hernias in areas where they might get worsening and/or enlarging
Hernia Repair Surgery
Hernias can't disappear or heal without a medical intervention, therefore if the negative symptoms occur a surgery a surgery will be necessary. Aim of the hernia repair surgery is to return the displaced tissue to it's proper position, thus resolving the problem. In general, hernia surgeries are classified as herniorraphy (tissue repair) or hernioplasty (mesh repair).
Herniorraphy is the oldest type of the hernia surgery. During the operation, surgeon makes a long incision directly over the hernia and opens a cut wide enough to access it, with use of surgical tools. Surgeon returns the displaced organ or tissue back to its proper position and removes the bulge/sac. The sides of the muscle opening or hole which the hernia has bulged then get stitched. Wound gets sterilized and then stitched shut.
Difference of the hernioplasty is that instead of stitching the muscle opening shut, surgeon covers it with a flat sterile mesh, either made of flexible plastics (such as polypropylene), or animal tissue. Surgeon then patches this mash into the healty surrounding tissue.
The damaged and weakened tissue around the hernia will use this mesh as a supportive and strengthening scaffold as they regrow.
This technique is also known as tension-free hernia repair.
The aim of this article is to give you a general information about the surgical intervention in question. You need to make more research about possible complications and risks of this selected procedure in order to make an informed decision. Please note that complications occur more frequently with patients who are obese, smoke, and have a history or lung or other chronic underlying medical conditions.
Smokers are recognized to have a significantly higher risk of post operative wound healing problems with a subsequently higher potential of infection as well as operative and post operative bleeding. Patients should discontinue smoking for two weeks before and two weeks after surgery. Although it helps to stop smoking before and after surgery, this does not completely eliminate the increased risks resulting from long term smoking. Smoking also has a long term adverse effect on the skin and ageing process.