A hernia is generally the result of a weakness in the abdominal wall. An internal part of the body can push through this weakness, resulting in a hernia. An inguinal hernia is the most common type of hernia. This presents as a lump or pain in the groin. There are multiple causes of this type of hernia. Most often, it is related to age. As we get older, our muscles and the surrounding connective tissue weaken, meaning that hernias can occur. Other factors that can contribute to the creation of hernias include heavy lifting, constipation, and other forms of straining.
An inguinal hernia can be treated by either open or laparoscopic methods. Both have excellent long-term results. After the operation, your groin will be sore and uncomfortable. Pain killers may help to reduce the pain. Regular paracetamol or stronger pain killers such as Palexia will help.
Your wound will be freshly dressed prior to discharge. Please remove this dressing after three days to encourage the wound to stay dry. It is possible to shower with the dressing on, as well as once it has been removed. If the wound continues to discharge fluid, place a fresh dressing for a further three days.
Any operation carries a risk of developing an infection. A small amount of redness is common. However, any continued redness after a week or discharge of pus from the wound may be cause for concern. Should this occur, please make an appointment to see your surgeon.
Bleeding can also occur after surgery. It may appear at the site of the incision, in the scrotum, or on the sides. Any significant bleeding may require an urgent review with your surgeon.
Seromas (the accumulation of fluid under the skin) are quite common after surgery, especially open surgery. The body will normally absorb the fluid over a few days. On occasion, the fluid may discharge through the scar and resolve by itself.
Scarring can occur at the site of the incision.
Pain usually settles after a week. In some cases, the pain may persist for several weeks. Nerve pain can also occur after open surgery.
There is a chance that the hernia can return.
There is always numbness at the site of the incision. After open surgery, you may experience some numbness over a small part of the inside of the thigh or on the top of the scrotum.
Mainly seen after laparoscopic surgery, this can persist for several weeks post procedure.
Occasionally, some patients (mainly men) may experience difficulty passing urine. This usually would occur soon after surgery. Rarely, an indwelling catheter may be placed if you are unable to pass urine and your bladder becomes very full. In this setting, some patients may need to be discharged with a catheter if they fail a trial of void (passing urine) in the day following their procedure. If this is the case, the catheter will be removed after two weeks.
Look after yourself!
Patients are usually discharged either the day of their surgery or the day after. As the surgery is performed under general anaesthetic, it is advised that you do not drink alcohol for 24 hours following your surgery. You will need to be accompanied by an adult for the first 24 hours. During this time you cannot drive nor operate any machinery.
In the aftermath of this procedure, you are fine to eat as normal. It is common for patients to experience some form of constipation, so you are encouraged to increase your intake of fibre and water to relieve these symptoms. If constipation persists, you may need to consider stool softeners such as Movicol or Coloxyl.
Initially, any form of exercise will cause pain and discomfort and should therefore be kept to a minimum. Patients should be able to return to walking after a week and cycling after 2 weeks, though there may be some discomfort initially. We encourage you to avoid lifting anything heavier than 5kgs in the six weeks following your procedure.
Patients should avoid driving for the first week after surgery to avoid discomfort.
Returning to work
Patients should be fine to return to work after 1-2 weeks. However, as described above under the ‘exercise’ heading, there should be no heavy lifting for 6 weeks. If you have any concerns, please contact my rooms on 08 81646727 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org