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Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia Repair

Most hernia operations are performed on an outpatient basis, and therefore you will probably go home on the same day that the operation is performed.

Preparation: 

  • Preoperative preparation includes blood work, medical evaluation, and an EKG depending on your age and medical condition.
  • After your surgeon reviews with you the potential risks and benefits of the operation, you will need to provide written consent for surgery.
  • It is recommended that you shower the night before or morning of the operation with an antibiotic soap.
  • After midnight the night before the operation, you should not eat or drink anything except medications that your surgeon has told you are permissible to take with a sip of water the morning of surgery.
  • Drugs such as aspirin, blood thinners, anti-inflammatory medications (arthritis medications) and Vitamin E may need to be stopped temporarily for several days to a week prior to surgery.
  • Your surgeon will discuss this with you and provide instructions regarding your medications around the time of surgery. Diet medication or St. John’s Wort should not be used for the two weeks prior to surgery.
  • Quit smoking and arrange for any help you may need at home. Smoking may increase the risk of the hernia recurring, or coming back after surgery. In some cases, your surgeon may require that you quit smoking prior to surgery.

After Surgery:

  • Following the operation, you will be transferred to the recovery room where you will be monitored for 1-2 hours until you are fully awake.
  • Once you are awake and able to walk, drink liquids, and urinate, you will be sent home.
  • With any hernia operation, you can expect some soreness mostly during the first 24 to 48 hours.
  • You are encouraged to be up and about the day after surgery. With laparoscopic hernia repair, you will probably be able to get back to your normal activities within a week. These activities include showering, driving, walking up stairs, lifting, working and engaging in sexual intercourse.
  • Call and schedule a follow-up appointment within 2 weeks after you operation.

Complications:

  • Any operation may be associated with complications. The primary complications of any operation are bleeding and infection, which are uncommon with laparoscopic hernia repair.
  • There is a very low risk of injury to the urinary bladder, the intestines, blood vessels, nerves or the sperm tube going to the testicle.
  • Difficulty urinating after surgery can occur and may require placement of a catheter, or tube to drain the bladder after surgery.You should ask your surgeon about ways to prevent this from occurring before your operation.
  • Bruising and swelling of the scrotum, the base of the penis, and the testicles is not uncommon with open and laparoscopic repair. This will gradually resolve on its own in the vast majority of patients.
  • Any time a hernia is repaired it can come back. This long-term recurrence rate is low in patients who undergo laparoscopic repair by an experienced surgeon.

Your surgeon will help you decide if the risks of laparoscopic hernia repair are less than the risks of leaving the condition untreated.

It is important to remember that before undergoing any type of surgery–whether laparoscopic or open–you should ask your surgeon about his/her training and experience with the operation

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