Should I Have Hernia Surgery?
Why have your hernia repaired?
- Pain - While most hernias are painless, if your hernia is causing intermittent discomfort or pain, then surgical repair is the solution to eradicate these symptoms.
- Appearance – Hernias are often disfiguring and an experienced hernia specialist often offers an enhanced cosmetic outcome.
- Size - The natural history of a hernia left untreated is unpredictable.While many hernias can remain unchanged over time, most hernias tend to get larger. Hernia enlargement over time can lead to a much bigger operation with a more difficult recovery. Smaller hernias are often amenable to outpatient surgery and with recovery that usually will not require prescription pain medicine.
- Risk of Emergent Incarceration or Strangulation – Incarceration of a hernia is when the intestine is trapped in the hernia defect. This can result in obstruction of the intestine causing abdominal pain and vomiting. After a hernia incarcerates, it can strangulate the intestine contained within the hernia. This compromises the blood flow to the intestine and if surgery is not performed to relieve this, overwhelming sepsis and even death is a possibility.
Why not have your hernia repaired?
The risks of your hernia repair should be significantly lower than your risk of leaving it untreated.
While this seems obvious, historically many people that undergo hernia surgery are unhappy due to problems with chronic pain, infection, or recurrence. These complications are clearly avoidable.
What can you do to insure the best chance for a favorable result?
Seek treatment by an experienced hernia specialist whose practice is solely dedicated to hernia repair.
How should my hernia be repaired?
If you have a hernia, you have options. Surgical options include conventional open surgery, laparoscopic surgery, and robotic surgery. Most repairs utilize mesh in order to reduce the risk of hernia recurrence. Some repairs can be performed without the use of mesh. There are many different types of mesh and it is generally safe when implanted by an experienced surgeon.
All hernias and the people that develop them are unique. There is no standard approach to hernia repair. Careful analysis of each person’s lifestyle and needs along with the location and size of the hernia are necessary to formulate a proper solution.
A hernia specialist will help you make the best decision.