Trapped inguinal hernia repair (age over 5)

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What is trapped inguinal hernia repair?

Inguinal hernia means the protrusion of a part of the intestine through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles. This leads to the appearance of a bulge in the inguinal area. This bulge is painful, especially during coughing or when you are squeezing your abdominal wall muscles, as in constipation.

Inguinal hernia repair is recommended because hernia can lead to some life-threatening complications. During surgery, a surgeon will push the bulge back into place and strengthen the weakness in your abdominal wall muscles. 

Why would I get this procedure?

Inguinal hernia isn’t always dangerous. However, if it doesn’t improve on its own or is enlarging or painful, your doctor most likely will recommend surgery. 

A severe complication of an unrepaired inguinal hernia is entrapment of the intestinal loops (incarcerated hernia), so you can’t push it back. An incarcerated hernia can become strangulated, meaning that the blood supply to this tissue is cut off. This is life-threatening if not treated properly.

Signs of a strangulated hernia include the following:

  • Fever
  • Nausea, vomiting or both
  • Sudden pain 
  • Hernia bulge that turns dark, purple, or red
  • Inability to pass gas or move your bowels

You should immediately seek immediate care if you have any of the above symptoms. 

What happens during this procedure?

The procedure usually takes about 30 to 60 minutes. There are two types of hernia repair: laparoscopic repair and open hernia repair. 

Laparoscopic hernia repair:

Laparoscopic hernia repair is a minimally invasive procedure that requires general anesthesia. General anesthesia means that you will be put to sleep and won’t remember anything regarding the procedure. 

The surgeon will make several small incisions in your abdomen to insert small tools and a tiny camera (laparoscope) through these incisions. Your surgeon will be able to see the hernia from inside and repair it using synthetic mesh. 

Laparoscopic surgery allows for less discomfort and less scarring after surgery and a quicker return to your routine.

Open hernia repair:

Open hernia repair is also done with general anesthesia. During this procedure, the surgeon will make an incision in your groin to push the protruding tissue back to its place. The weakened area is then sewed and strengthened with a synthetic mesh.  

What happens after the procedure?

You will be able to go home on the day after your operation. It is expected that your groin feels sore and uncomfortable. You will be given some pain medications that will help you relieve this discomfort.

Make sure to follow the instructions given to you by your doctor for caring for your wound, hygiene and bathing. Try to avoid coughing and constipation because this can cause pain around the wound area. Incorporating lots of fluids and fibers into your diet can help you avoid constipation.

Conclusion

Immediately call your surgeon if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Bleeding
  • Abnormal swelling
  • Pain that isn’t relieved by pain medications
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills 
  • Difficulty passing urine

Citation

Mayo Clinic: Inguinal hernia

Nhs. uk (England’s health system): Inguinal hernia repair

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