This is the surgical repair of a bulging through a weakness in the abdominal wall (hernia).
A hernia is the protrusion of tissue through a weak area in the muscular wall of the abdomen. Abdominal hernias include umbilical hernias, which are located near the naval (belly button). They may also include hernias that are located near an incision or other weakness in the abdominal wall. Occasionally, parts of the bowel can protrude through the weak area and become trapped (unable to return to its normal place). This is known as an incarcerated hernia. When the blood supply to the part of the bowel that is incarcerated is affected, the condition is known as a strangulated hernia. A strangulated hernia is a medical emergency requiring immediate surgery.
An open hernia repair is when a surgeon makes an incision in the abdomen to repair an abdominal hernia. During the surgery the bulging tissue is pushed back through the weak area of the muscle. The weakened area is then made stronger with stitches and/or a mesh.
An abdominal hernia can cause the soft tissue around your navel to protrude when you're at rest or when you cry, cough, or strain. A repair of an abdominal hernia repair may be recommended if the bulging is painful or large, interferes with your daily activities, or causes other problems.
When you see your healthcare provider for evaluation, he or she will ask about your symptoms and perform a physical exam. He or she may order some tests (lab work, abdominal ultrasounds, or x-rays) to screen for certain complications. If your healthcare provider recommends a hernia repair, prior to surgery tell him or her about any medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medications and supplements). Ask about specific instructions you should follow before surgery. These may include:
If you are a smoker, you should quit smoking, as it can interfere with your recovery.
During your surgery, you will receive anesthesia to keep you comfortable and pain free.
You may go home the day of your surgery, but some people need to stay in the hospital overnight.
This care path includes costs for a hernia repair that requires at least one overnight stay in the hospital.
What should I ask my healthcare provider before having an open hernia repair?
After your surgery, you should know what you had done, what medication was given, and what symptoms you should report to your healthcare provider. You should also understand all home care instructions (including medications and side effects) and follow-up plans.
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