An abdominal hernia repair is a type of surgery. It fixes a problem called a hernia. A hernia is a bulge under the skin in your belly. It happens when you have a weak spot in your belly muscles and a piece of your intestines or tissues pokes through your muscles. This can cause pain. You may notice the pain most when you lift something heavy.
You can have a hernia near your belly button. Or it may be in a scar from an earlier surgery. To fix it, the doctor will do one of two kinds of surgery. In open surgery, the doctor makes one cut near the hernia. This cut is called an incision. In laparoscopic surgery, the doctor makes several very small incisions and uses a thin, lighted scope and small tools. In either type of surgery, the doctor pushes the bulge back in place, if needed. Then the doctor sews the healthy tissue back together. Often the doctor patches the weak spot with a piece of material.
Laparoscopic surgery leaves several small scars. Open surgery leaves one long scar. The scars fade with time.
You will probably need to take 1 to 2 weeks off from work. But if your job requires heavy lifting or other physical work, you may need to take 4 to 6 weeks off.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kenneth Bark, MD - General Surgery, Colon and Rectal Surgery
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