A hernia is a common problem and the only solution is to get a timely surgery done by an expert surgeon.
What is a hernia?
A hernia is an abnormal protrusion of the abdominal contents through an opening in the abdominal wall
Why does hernia happen?
A hernia develops because of weakness in the abdominal musculature. There is high positive pressure inside the abdomen which tends to push the abdominal organs outside. Normally strong abdominal muscles do not let the organs come out but weak muscles fail to do so resulting in abnormal protrusion of the intraabdominal organs. This presents as abnormal swelling visible outside and this swelling is called a hernia.
Where does hernia occur?
A hernia is common in the following areas:
Inguinal: near the junction between abdomen and thighs
Umbilical: near your belly button
Incisional: at the site of previous surgery
There are some uncommon sites also like femoral, epigastric etc.
Treatment of hernia
There is only one solution: surgery. During surgery, the surgeon tries to close the defect in the muscle and add a mesh (a foreign body) to buttress the weak are. The mesh acts as a platform over which new tissue develops and makes the weak area strong.
Must Read: Hernia Is Like Ice Cream
What are the surgical techniques available?
Hernia surgery can be done by an open incision method or by a minimally invasive method which includes either laparoscopic technique or robotic surgery.
Recovery after hernia surgery
As far as recovery after hernia surgery is concerned it depends on several factors like:
- Patient-related factor: age, health status like diabetes, obesity, overall well being
- Surgeon related factor: a surgery performed by an expert hernia surgeon gives a better recovery as compared to an inexperienced surgeon
- Technique: minimally invasive surgical technique provides faster recovery
Usually, some pain, swelling, and soreness will obviously be there. It is part of the natural healing process. It usually settles with time. If it is persistent and especially if it is accompanied by fever one must consult his/ her operating surgeon.
For initial 5-7 days you must not get involved in any type of vigorous activities. Be gentle during your movements. You can start walking from the day of surgery itself but it should be a slow and gentle walk, not a brisk walk. You are not supposed to strain for stools. If you feel constipated you can take some mild laxatives.
You can start climbing stairs after 4-5 days. You can go for a short morning and evening walk but on a smooth road only.
You can have a shower after 2-3 days. After showering keep your surgical site dry and clean.
After 7-10 days you can resume your business work, start riding a bike with button start type ignition, you can gradually increase your morning or evening walk distance and speed of your walk.
After 10 days or so you can be as normal as a non-surgical person but please avoid lifting weight more than 3- 5 kgs, avoid smoking because these two are the most common factors implicated in recurrence after hernia surgery.
When can you have sex after hernia surgery?
Please read a detailed discussion about this important topic “Sex After Hernia Surgery“
Females can resume their household work like cooking washing utensils in a standing position, dusting, etc.
After a month you can start jogging, swimming, cycling, etc. but you are not supposed to smoke and lift heavyweights.
Remember that hernia can recur in some cases even after a very good surgery. Non-compliance is an important factor responsible for the recurrence so please follow your surgeon’s advice and avoid smoking, weight lifting, and gaining weight as obesity is another important factor leading to recurrence.