A hernia occurs when a weak spot in your belly muscles allows a piece of your intestines or the tissue around them to poke through. This can cause a bulge in the area. It can also cause pain. But you may not feel anything.
The hernia may be in your groin. Or it may be near your belly button. In some cases, it's in a scar from an earlier surgery. A doctor can fix a hernia through a cut (incision) made near it. This is called open surgery. Or the doctor may make some very small cuts and use a thin, lighted scope and small tools. This is laparoscopic surgery. If your hernia is bulging, the bulge is pushed back into place. The doctor then sews the healthy tissue back together. Often a piece of material is used to patch the weak spot.
Open surgery will leave a longer scar. Laparoscopic surgery leaves a few small scars. The scars will fade with time.
You may need to take 1 to 2 weeks off from work. This depends on the type of work you do and how you feel.
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
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
& Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Brent T. Shoji, MD - General Surgery & Kenneth Bark, MD - General Surgery, Colon and Rectal Surgery
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