7 important questions to ask before having inguinal hernia surgery
The first question to ask before having hernia surgery is a medical definition question. What is an inguinal hernia? It is a protrusion of the intestines into the inguinal canal, which is a 4-centimeter-long passage lying parallel to the inguinal ligament in both males and females.
Are we sure that these are hernia symptoms I’m feeling?
Medical mysteries abound. But a professional abdominal surgery specialist is the best detective to analyze the clues that uncover the true suspect. Since muscle strains mimic hernia symptoms, the specialist will rule out a muscle strain when he or she does not feel a bulge in the canal.
Do I need surgery right now?
If discomfort is low, surgery is not necessary right away. In general, one-third of patients diagnosed with a hernia may delay surgery since the symptoms do not interfere with their lifestyle.
What are nonsurgical treatments for hernias?
Some patients may use a hernia belt or truss to relieve symptoms and delay surgery. Surgery is recommended, however, when the risk of an incarcerated hernia is suspected.
What are surgical treatments for hernias?
There are many surgical options for hernias. These include:
• Suture repair, no mesh device
• Mesh repair between muscle layers
• Mesh repair under muscle layers with general anesthesia
• Mesh repair under muscle layers with local anesthesia and sedative
According to recent international guidelines, mesh repair under the muscles with a local anesthetic is the safest, most effective way to perform the surgery.
What does recovery entail?
The best answer here is that it depends. Some patients may return to work the next day, while others may need more time off. A good statistic is that about 75% of patients who work miss 3 or less days on the job.
What are the surgical risks?
This is the most critical question. Distinct types of surgeries carry different risks. Ask about chronic pain post-surgery and the chances of hernia recurrence.
How many hernia operations do you do each year?
It does not take a surgeon to realize that this is an important question. In life, the more one partakes of an activity, the better he or she becomes. Thus, the more operations a surgeon has performed, the more skilled he or she is, and the better results a patient can expect.