A hernia is a protrusion occurring either from one body compartment to another within the body or to the outside of the body, of content or a tissue coverings, through a weakened or defective wall. In most instances, these hernias would not cause symptoms and can be managed conservatively unless symptomatic. But, occasionally, the condition can be complicated and require urgent attention and an emergency procedure to reduce and repair.
There are many varieties of hernia and none more commoner than abdominal hernias. Among them, the inguinal hernias seem to be the commonest due to weakened abdominal wall in the region, congenital susceptibility, increased stressors exerted in the region…etc. Similarly, para-umbilical hernia, incisional hernias are also common. Hiatus hernia could be the most prevailing hernia within the body and would be present among many.
As was described in the definition, the occurrence of a hernia would be the result of weakened compartment wall or a congenital defect and in most instances, the weakness would be the reason.
Therefore, in the hernial repair, the primary focus will be to reduce the hernial sac and strengthen the defective or weakened wall. Thus, let us see the usual procedure associated with such repair.
* The surgery will be performed under general or spinal anesthesia according to the site and the preference of the patient as well as his or her condition.
* A small incision will be made in order to access the content in the hernial protrusion and usually there would be a sac like structure either empty or filled with either the bowel or else the omentum.
* The surgeon will reduce the content in the sac gently and will place the content back in the right compartment.
* The excessive sac tissue will be removed and the rest of the tissues will be opposed and sutured.
* If necessary, a synthetic mesh like structure will be placed at the site in which the hernia occurred and further strengthen the muscle wall.
* The rest of the layers in the abdominal wall will be sutured in layers with absorbable material.
* Usually, the surgery will last from 45 minutes to 2 hours and it will depend on the surgeons experience as well as the complexity of the hernia and its site.
* Following recovery, a patient can take something to drink after the bowel movements are fully established and it’s vital to prevent constipation or cough as such episodes can disrupt the wound and develop a recurrence in few years time.
* After few days of hospital stay, depending again on the surgery, the patient can be mobilized and discharged from the hospital with adequate pain relief medications and other necessary drugs.