Open Repair of Inguinal Hernia
This is the repair of the inguinal hernia by the conventional open method.
General information about open repair of inguinal hernia
The procedure can be performed under general anaesthesia, regional anaesthesia or even local anaesthesia.
Most patients only need to come to the hospital on the day of the operation. The patients would need to be fasted of food and water for 6 hours. However, if they are taking daily medications for some of their medical problems like hypertension, they can still continue taking these medications with just sips of water.
If the patient is on anti-platelet medications like Aspirin, they have to stop such medications for about one week before the operation.
Most of the time, at Nexus Surgical Laparoscopic and MIS centre, we would perform this operation as a Day Surgery procedure. However, because many of the patients who have the conventional open method are those whose medical conditions do not permit the keyhole method, hence many of such patients are advised to stay one night in the hospital for observation. It is not the technique of operation, rather the health of the patient concerned that requires this one-night stay.
After the patient is asleep, a groin incision about 5-cm long is made over the site of the hernia. The hernia sac is located and pushed back into the abdomen. After which, the abdominal wall defect is repaired by stitching a mesh (a permanent prosthesis) or a suture to strengthen the abdominal wall.
This video produced by Patient Education Company gives an excellent illustration of what an open surgical repair entails.
When the patient wakes up, he should already be in the recovery area or even in the ward. Once you are alert enough, the nurses will serve you some drinks, and even light meals. After an adequate period of observation, you should be able to be discharged if yours is a Day Surgery procedure. You should be able to walk without much pain, and be able to pass urine well. Some male patients may complain of a burning sensation when they pass urine. This happens when the surgeon insert a tube into the penis to drain the bladder during the operation. The sensation is quite normal and will disappear by itself within a couple of days.
Following surgery, the pain should be quite manageable and controlled with oral painkillers. You should be able to carry on with your daily activities without any restrictions except for driving and operating equipment whilst the effects of the anaesthesia are still present. When you are up to it, you can also start exercising, including jogging, especially once the skin wounds have healed, which usually takes about 1 week. The only restriction is not to carry heavy loads for about 3 months.
Most times the wound will be closed with absorbable sutures, so there is no need for removal of the stitches.