Inguinal hernia surgery: Postoperative care

The inguinal hernia is formed when the musculature of the abdominal wall presents a weaker region allowing the projection of tissues through this space . A swelling or ablation forms in the groin area. This problem is usually more common in men, but it can also occur in women.

The only effective treatment for inguinal hernia is surgery, since the problem does not disappear spontaneously. Alternatives like the brace provide only temporary relief and, in some cases, are not even recommended.

As with any surgical procedure, some post-operative care is necessary to ensure the patient’s good recovery. In this article we present what are the measures that must be adopted after surgery to avoid any type of complication. Read on to learn more.

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About inguinal hernia surgery

Before we talk about the postoperative care of inguinal hernia surgery, it is interesting to know the techniques that are used to treat this problem. The procedure is considered simple, although at times it may be necessary for the patient to remain hospitalized for up to 24 hours.

The most used method for performing groin hernia surgery is conventional inguinal herniorrhaphy. In this surgery, the hernia defect (“hole”) can be closed with stitches or a mesh can be used to correct the defect. There are several ways to repair the hernial defect, built by more than one hundred years of evolution of the surgery. All of these techniques use a cut of up to 8 cm in the groin area. Can be performed with local, epidural, spinal or general anesthesiadepending on the patient’s health and the anesthesiologist’s assessment. Although they have good results, when properly selected and performed, they present greater pain in the initial period after surgery and a greater frequency of problems related to cutting in the region, such as infections at the site, swelling and accumulation of fluid and blood.

Inguinal herniorrhaphy by videolaparoscopy can also be performed.  In this technique, performed only by general anesthesia, are held three small cuts (less than 1 cm each) around the navel, blows up air in the stomach and placed in a chamber so that the surgical team to identify the location to be operated. Through the small holes, suitable instruments are placed allowing the correction of the hernial defect with the use of screens and instruments for fixing them in the region. The results of laparoscopic correction, when well indicated and performed , are similar to conventional surgery with the advantage of less pain in the initial days of surgery, better aesthetic satisfaction and faster recovery than the conventional method.

About surgical screens

A common doubt concerns the necessity and risks of using screens . These are “hammocks” (similar to gauze), made of special materials that can be accepted by the organism, with the advantage of covering the hernial defect without producing an increase in tension at the site, this form with less chance of treatment failure. The vast majority of studies show that better results are obtained in the correction of adult inguinal hernia using a mesh.There is little risk of infection and long-term rejection or complications are rare. As there are several national and imported brands of screens, different materials and thicknesses and different use depending on the characteristics of the hernia, the patient’s health and the surgeon’s preference, a discussion prior to surgery between doctor and patient on the need for the use of screen and which screen to use.

Postoperative of inguinal hernia surgery

Surgery to correct the inguinal hernia is a medium-sized procedure, which in patients with no other diseases usually has a relatively quick recovery, low risk of problems and a high level of satisfaction with the final result.

The expected time for recovery at home is also usually very short. Most of the time we recommend only relative rest and use of painkillers in the early days.

The patient does not need to stop performing his activities, as there are no movement restrictions. You can drive as soon as there are no swelling or discomfort in the place and no medication is used. It is extremely important to avoid efforts such as lifting objects from the floor or carrying weights for up to eight weeks after this surgery, so that healing is adequate and the operated area can withstand greater effort.

There is also no need to maintain a specific diet for the postoperative period of inguinal hernia surgery.

Possible manifestations after inguinal hernia surgery

Some conditions are common and are considered normal after inguinal hernia surgery. Men may experience discomfort in the inguinal region and tenderness in the testicle or scrotum.

There is also the possibility that the area may become swollen or purple, which can be minimized with the use of compresses for a few days and local care. Another possible reaction is that the intestine becomes a little lazier, so it is interesting to maintain a lighter and more natural diet to stimulate bowel movements.

Generally , after a few days after the surgery, the patient returns for an evaluation with the surgeon. However, if atypical symptoms or any type of malaise occurs , it is necessary to seek medical advice before that date.

He will be able to prescribe medications such as painkillers, anti-inflammatories and antibiotics to promote recovery. All of these substances must be administered according to the prescription, respecting the schedules and dosage, without replacing the formulations.

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The inguinal hernia is a generally harmless problem, but it can also be complicated, especially when passing by strangulation. Therefore, it is very important to see a doctor at the sign of the first symptoms and carry out the treatment according to your recommendation, so that recovery is simple and quick.


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