You’re scheduled for hernia surgery. While you’re looking forward to relief from your pain and other troubling symptoms, it’s normal to feel some level of anxiety before an operation. Gaining information about your surgery and recovery can help calm your fears.
At Turnquest Surgical Solutions, our board-certified general and bariatric surgeons, Dexter Turnquest, MD, and Victoria C. Chang, MD, have many years of experience performing hiatal and inguinal hernia repairs.
Here are eight questions to ask about hernia repair surgery to help you feel comfortable going forward.
What surgical method will you use to repair my hernia?
If we’re able to use minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, we repair your hernia using that method. Incisions are smaller and recovery is quicker than with open surgery.
We make one or a few small incisions, insert a powerful but tiny camera with a light, and repair the hernia with small, thin instruments.
We let you know if you need open surgery, which requires larger incisions and a little longer recovery.
Will you use surgical mesh?
We let you know if your hernia repair requires surgical mesh. Each person’s situation is different. If you have an inguinal hernia, we use surgical mesh to support and strengthen the tissue around the hernia and help prevent reoccurrence.
Do you use general anesthesia for hernia surgery?
If we repair your hernia using a laparoscopic method, we use general anesthesia. For open surgery, we generally use local anesthesia.
Does hernia surgery require a hospital stay?
With most laparoscopic surgeries, you’re able to go home the same day you have the procedure. But you need to have a family member or friend to drive you home.
If you have open surgery, you may need to stay in the hospital at least one night. We let you know whether you’ll likely need to stay in the hospital after the surgery.
How long does recovery from hernia surgery take?
Recovery time depends on the type of hernia, whether the surgery is laparoscopic or open, your overall health, and the size of the hernia.
If you have a desk job, you may be able to go back to work in a few days. If you have a physically demanding job, you need to take more time off work.
You can expect to start feeling much better within a week after surgery. Full recovery from laparoscopic surgery takes 3-4 weeks or 4-6 weeks if you have open surgery.
When can I start driving after hernia surgery?
In general, you can resume driving within one week. We let you know based on the type of operation you have.
Will I be in pain after hernia surgery?
You can expect some discomfort and soreness after the operation. We prescribe pain medication for you while your incision is healing. After a few days, you should be able to switch to an over-the-counter pain reliever when needed.
Will my hernia ever come back?
Our board-certified general and bariatric surgeons have an outstanding record. We rarely see recurrence hernias in our patients if they follow our post-op instructions and health care recommendations.
You have a role to play in helping to prevent another hernia or a complication from a hernia operation:
- Maintain a normal body weight
- Eat a healthy diet
- Don’t smoke
- Use proper form when you exercise and lift objects
- Use core-strengthening exercises after full recovery from surgery
If you have or suspect you have a hernia, call one of our two Houston, Texas, locations or request an appointment online today. Hernia repair enables you to enjoy everyday life again.