Hernia Surgery

  • Inguinal Hernia
  • Umbilical Hernia
Inguinal Hernia

What is an inguinal hernia?

An inguinal hernia occurs when there is weakness in the abdominal wall in the groin and it causes a bulge in the groin. The abdominal contents such as bowel can protrude through the hernia. It can occur on one side of the groin or on both sides.

What are the symptoms of an inguinal hernia?

Patients with an inguinal hernia usually notice a lump or swelling in the groin. It can be more prominent when the intra-abdominal pressure increases, e.g. by straining or coughing. Some people may notice pain and discomfort as well in the groin. The bulge goes down when it is pushed back or when you relax. If a loop of bowel gets stuck inside the hernia and does not go back in, it can cause a bowel obstruction, and the symptoms of a bowel obstruction are painful groin swelling, abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting or fever.

How do you diagnose an inguinal hernia?

It can be diagnosed with a clinical examination by your doctor if it is large enough. Ultrasound is the most useful test.

How do you fix the inguinal hernia?

It depends on several factors, such as whether it is on one side only or on both sides, previous abdominal surgeries or prostate surgery. Usually, it is performed laparoscopically through one belly button incision and two other small incisions. Mesh is usually required to cover the hernia defect. Laparoscopic equipment is used to place the mesh inside the abdomen to cover the hernia from the inside. If the hernia is present on both sides, they can be fixed through the same small incisions.

Mesh is made of plastic and looks like a fishnet patch. It works in a similar way as to fixing a flat tire. Mesh is used as a patch to cover the hole from inside the abdomen, so that abdominal contents do not protrude through the hernia.

What can I expect on the day of surgery?

For scheduled, non-emergent cases, the surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis. The surgery takes about an hour or so, but it takes about half a day to prepare for the surgery, for the actual surgery and for the recovery period after surgery.

Is the surgery painful?

Some incisional pain is to be expected for a few days after surgery but it can usually be lessened and managed with effective pain medications. I also use local anesthesia at the time of surgery to reduce pain.

What are the complications of surgery?

Inguinal hernia repair surgery is a safe procedure. However, any surgical procedure has risk involved. This includes bleeding, wound infection, bowel injury, hernia recurrence, persistent pain, re-operation, heart attack, blood clots and less than 0.5% risk of death.

When can I go back to work?

People usually take a few days or a week off work after surgery for recuperation.

What are the restrictions after surgery?

I recommend no heavy lifting (greater than 10 pounds) for 4 weeks after surgery to let the hernia repair heal well and minimize hernia recurrence.

Call today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sung Cho.

425-688-1916

Schedule your appointment today for a hernia surgery consultation.

Umbilical Hernia

What is an umbilical hernia?

When the baby is in the mother’s womb, the baby derives nutrients through the umbilical cord at the center of the abdominal wall. Once the baby is born, the hole in the abdominal wall naturally closes, but in some people it does not close completely and it can lead to an umbilical hernia.

What are the symptoms of an umbilical hernia?

Patients with an umbilical hernia usually notice a lump or protrusion in the bellybutton. It can be more prominent when the intra-abdominal pressure increases, e.g. by straining. Some people may notice pain and discomfort at the belly button. If a loop of bowel gets stuck inside the hernia, it can cause a bowel obstruction, and the symptoms of a bowel obstruction are abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting or fever.

How do you diagnose an umbilical hernia?

It can be diagnosed with a clinical examination by your doctor if it is large enough. Ultrasound is the most useful test. CT scan can sometimes be needed in complex cases.

How do you fix the umbilical hernia?

It depends on the size of the hernia. If it is small (less than 1 cm in diameter), under anesthesia a small incision is made around the belly button and a few stitches are placed to close the hole. If it is large (greater than 1 cm in diameter), mesh is usually required to cover the hole. Most commonly three small Band-Aid incisions are made on one side of the abdomen and laparoscopic equipment is used to place the mesh inside the abdomen to cover the umbilical hernia from the inside. In some cases, mesh can be placed through one larger umbilical incision.

Mesh is made of plastic and looks like a fishnet patch. It works in a similar way as to fixing a flat tire. Mesh is used as a patch to cover the hole from inside the abdomen, so that abdominal contents do not protrude through the hole at the umbilicus.

What can I expect on the day of surgery?

For scheduled, non-emergent cases, the surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis. The surgery takes about an hour or so, but it takes about half a day to prepare for the surgery, for the actual surgery and for the recovery period after surgery.

Is the surgery painful?

Some incisional pain is to be expected for a few days after surgery but it can usually be lessened and managed with effective pain medications. I also use local anesthesia at the time of surgery to reduce pain.

What are the complications of surgery?

Umbilical hernia repair surgery is a safe procedure. However, any surgical procedure has risk involved. This includes bleeding, wound infection, bowel injury, hernia recurrence, persistent pain, reoperation, heart attack, blood clots and less than 0.5% risk of death.

When can I go back to work?

People usually take a few days or a week off work after surgery for recuperation.

What are the restrictions after surgery?

I recommend no heavy lifting (greater than 10 pounds) for 4 weeks after surgery to let the hernia repair heal well and to minimize the hernia recurrence.

Call today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sung Cho.

425-688-1916

Schedule your appointment today for a hernia surgery consultation.

hernia

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