So, I'm having inguinal hernia repair surgery. What do I need to know?
May 8, 2014 12:41 AM   Subscribe

YANMD. But what do I need to know going in? What should I ask the surgeon? So far, it's just been diagnosed. It's not big, but it's gotten bigger over the last year. What sort of surgery offers the least post-op pain and/or the best shot at not having complications down the road? Thanks!
posted by professor plum with a rope to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: My father -- at 80 years of age -- had the laparoscopic surgery for two inguinal hernias. He was absolutely fine afterwards. He had an excellent doctor who had quite a bit of experience doing laparoscopic surgeries.

They send you home right after surgery, and I spent the first 24 hours or so with my father at home. (He was really very ok after the first day.) The only thing I wish we'd known beforehand was about the gas. They fill up your abdomen with a gas to give the surgeon room to navigate (for laparoscopic surgery), and then this dissipates over the next 24 hours or so. We didn't know that. It's pretty uncomfortable until the gas is gone.

Another thing that we knew, but bears repeating -- have a small, firm pillow handy. When you cough or do anything that might strain your abdomen, you press the pillow into the abdomen first.
posted by Houstonian at 4:43 AM on May 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Current options in inguinal hernia repair in adult patients. Open (traditional) is still the standard; for a comparison of open and laparoscopic, see the section "Which repair technique?"

Two publications via the British Hernia Society:

British Hernia Society's 2013 Inguinal Hernia Guidelines and The European Hernia Society Guidelines on the Treatment of Inguinal Hernia in Adult Patients 2010

Medscape, Open Inguinal Hernia Repair
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 6:19 AM on May 8, 2014

Best answer: I just had (umbilical) hernia surgery 3 weeks ago. I chose the Open surgery.
The surgery itself took about 20 minutes (so I'm told) but I was under General Anesthesia and sleeping a little longer than that.

I was in a little bit of pain for a few days, but I barely had to take my pain medication and I'm feeling perfectly fine now.

If not for doctor's orders, I would be back to heavy lifting already.
posted by jozxyqk at 6:55 AM on May 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm not a doctor, and I don't know if this is relevant to your case, but my cousin who is a doctor recently had hernia surgery and he said he had it done by a surgeon who was an expert in doing the procedure without the use of mesh because mesh apparently can lead to long-term chronic pain and even possible need for removal of the mesh later. Perhaps other people here who ARE doctors can elaborate on this point.
posted by Dansaman at 8:15 AM on May 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I had it, and I am not totally satisfied. I got the mesh, against the advice of a doctor buddy of mine. Sometimes I feel like it didn't really take; like if I lift heavy stuff, I know I'll feel it later.

Also, my recovery was prolonged, like, weeks, months. I was very physically active before that, and returning to that was difficult.
posted by atchafalaya at 6:37 PM on May 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Due to the responses that came after mine, I should add that I did not actually get the mesh.
They planned to, but it turned out that my hernia was small enough that they could avoid it.
Sounds like I should be thankful for this :)
posted by jozxyqk at 7:14 AM on May 9, 2014

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