Laparoscopic surgery

Hernia (cont'd)

 

Emergency surgery is sometimes needed. The sac containing the intestine or other tissue may become stuck in the hole in the abdominal wall. If it cannot be pushed back through, this can lead to a strangulated loop of intestine. If left untreated, this portion of the intestine dies because it loses its blood supply.

Instead of open surgery, some hernias can be repaired using a laparoscope (camera). The advantages of using a camera include small surgical cuts, faster recovery, and less pain after the procedure.

For information on hernia surgery, see also:

Expectations (prognosis)

The outcome is usually good with treatment. Recurrence is rare (1-3%).

Complications

In rare cases, inguinal hernia repair can damage structures involved in the function of a man's testicles.

Another risk of hernia surgery is nerve damage, which can lead to numbness in the groin area.

The biggest risk of hernia surgery is another hernia, which may occur years later.

Calling your health care provider

Call your doctor right away if:

  • You have a painful hernia and the contents cannot be pushed back into the abdomen using gentle pressure
  • You develop nausea, vomiting, or a fever along with a painful hernia
  • You have a hernia that becomes red, purple, dark, or discolored

Call your doctor if:

  • You have groin pain, swelling, or a bulge
  • You have a bulge or swelling in the groin or belly button, or that is associated with a previous surgical cut.
  • Use proper lifting techniques.
  • Lose weight if you are overweight.
  • Relieve or avoid constipation by eating plenty of fiber, drinking lots of fluid, going to the bathroom as soon as you have the urge, and exercising regularly.
  • Men should see their health care provider if they strain with urination. This may be a symptom of an enlarged prostate.

Prevention

References

1.       Turnage RH, Richardson KA, Li BD, McDonald JC. Abdominal wall, umbilicus, peritoneum, mesenteries, omentum, and retroperitoneum. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2008:chap 43.

Review Date: 11/5/2010.

Reviewed by: Shabir Bhimji MD, PhD, Specializing in General Surgery, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Midland, TX. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

 

A.D.A.M., Disclaimer


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