What is a hernia and what are its symptoms?
Hernia’s occur when a weak area of the abdominal wall muscle allow a structure from within the abdomen to protrude. Often this is felt by patients as a lump, which can be reduced back into the abdomen with gentle pressure.
Common types of hernia include:
- Inguinal hernia (groin)
- Femoral hernia (lower groin)
- Umbilical hernia
- Incisional hernia (occurs after surgery)
- Rare hernia (eg Spigelian)
Whilst some herniae can be safely monitored, others usually have repair recommended either to improve patient symptoms or prevent serious complications, such as bowel becoming stuck in the hernia. Mr MacLeod will take the time to explain the type of hernia that you have, whether it can be safely monitored or whether repair is indicated.
What is involved in a hernia operation?
In general terms, the hernia is repaired by closing the defect in the muscle and often using a surgical hernia mesh to reinforce the repair. This can either be performed as a laparoscopic (keyhole) or open procedure depending on the type of hernia, patient circumstances and surgeon preference.
How long will the operation take?
Some hernia surgery can be performed as day-case (ie. Patient’s go home the same day), but often an overnight stay in hospital is indicated. For large complex hernia surgery, patient’s may remain in hospital for several days whilst recovery progresses.
Mr Macleod will discuss the pro’s and con’s of any hernia procedure in detail with his patient, along with the risks, benefits and the expected course of recovery.