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Dr Luigi Sussman - General and Laparoscopic Surgeon

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Hernias

A hernia exists where part of the abdominal wall muscle is weakened or torn, and the contents of the abdomen push through to the outside.

An inguinal or groin hernia forms when part of the intestine pushes through the abdominal wall, causing a bulge in the groin. This bulge is often aggravated by coughing, straining or exercise, or activities involving lifting. A hernia does not mend itself and usually gets worse with time. It can cause discomfort or pain, particularly with physical activity and feels best at rest. Occasionally it can lead to complications, such as strangulation of the intestine which is dangerous and requires emergency treatment.  

Laparoscopic hernia repair is one of the most commonly performed operations. It involves using surgical instruments to push the hernia back into its original position and repairing the weakness in the abdominal wall with a piece of thin and soft plastic (Prolene) mesh. This mesh becomes part of the abdominal wall giving strength and support and rarely causes any problems in itself. Hernias can recur (come back) but the likelihood of this is low and is in the order of 1 in 50 repairs. The surgery is performed under general anaesthetic, takes about 1 hour to perform, and may be daystay or overnight hospital stay, with review about 1 to 2 weeks later.

Recovery may take 1 to 2 weeks. There are no stitches to remove, only the waterproof dressings at 5 days. Driving a car is not advised for 5 days, nor should you lift anything heavy (more than 5kg) for about 3 weeks or do anything strenous as such activities could damage the repair and result in recurrence of a hernia.

This page was last updated at 2:48PM on October 31, 2018.