What is inguinal hernia repair surgery?
Inguinal hernia repair is a type of surgery. It fixes a problem called an inguinal hernia. This is a bulge under the skin in your child's groin. It happens when there is a weak spot in your child's groin muscle and a piece of the intestines or tissue pokes through the muscle. This can be painful. Your child may have pain when he or she is active. Or your child may feel pain if he or she strains with a bowel movement or lifts something heavy.
Surgery can relieve your child's pain. It can also prevent serious problems that can happen if an organ or tissue gets stuck in the hernia.
There are two ways to do this 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.
If your child's hernia is bulging, the doctor pushes the bulge back in place. If the hernia goes down the inguinal canal, the hernia sac is either pushed back or tied off and removed. Then the doctor sews the healthy tissue back together.
Laparoscopic surgery leaves several small scars. Open surgery leaves one long scar. The scars fade with time.
After the surgery, your child will probably need to take off 1 to 2 weeks from normal activity.
How do you prepare for surgery?
Surgery can be stressful for both your child and you. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your child's surgery.
Preparing for surgery
- Talk to your child about the surgery. Tell your child that the surgery will fix a problem in his or her groin. And it will stop any pain. Hospitals know how to take care of children. The staff will do all they can to make it easier for your child.
- Ask if a special tour of the surgery area and hospital is available. This may make your child feel less nervous about what happens.
- Plan for your child's recovery time. He or she may need more of your time right after the surgery, both for care and for comfort.
- Understand exactly what surgery is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
- Tell the doctor ALL the medicines and natural health products your child takes. Some may increase the risk of problems during the surgery. Your doctor will tell you if your child should stop taking any of them before the surgery and how soon to do it.
The day before surgery
- A nurse may call you (or you may need to call the hospital). This is to confirm the time and date of your child's surgery and answer any questions.
- Remember to follow your doctor's instructions about your child taking or stopping medicines before surgery. This includes over-the-counter medicines.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Where can you learn more?
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
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