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What to Expect from Hernia Repair

Prior to Surgery

  • Talk to your doctor about any medications/vitamins/herbs you are taking as you may need to stop certain ones before surgery.
  • Stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), Clopidogrel (Plavix), warfarin (Coumadin), and other blood thinners one week prior to surgery.
  • Discuss any possible bleeding disorders or other medical conditions that you may have
  • The day before surgery, do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the surgery.
  • You will have blood samples taken in case you need a blood transfusion.
  • Do not smoke. This will help you to recover quicker.

On the Day of the Surgery

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the surgery.
  • Take the drugs your doctor told you to take with a small sip of water.
  • Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to arrive at the hospital.

After Surgery

  • Hernia repair surgery normally only requires a 23-hour or less stay. Most patients go home the same day.
  • Abdominal wall hernia repairs may require up to a two-day hospital stay due to the internal stitches and healing that is required.
  • Expect some soreness around the surgical site during the first 24 to 48 hours following surgery.
  • Walking is encouraged, based on your energy level.
  • This surgery has a quick recovery with most patients feeling much better within the first few days after surgery.
  • Hiatal hernia repair patients may eat a modified liquid diet after surgery and will graduate to solid foods over time.

Recovery: what to expect in the next few weeks

Most patients will be fully recovered in one week and can resume some normal activities, such as driving, walking and some duties at work; however, due to the use of internal stitches or staples, your surgeon will advise you when it is safe to resume any heavy lifting pushing or pulling.

Alternative Names

Hernia repair; inguinal hernia surgery; groin hernia surgery, Laparoscopic Anti-Reflux Surgery, Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication, GERD surgery

Hernia Repair Q&A

What does the procedure involve?

The surgeon makes a few small incisions and inserts a tiny camera to the surgery site. This gives clear visualization of the surgical field and allows him great precision when placing surgical mesh over the hernia. This mesh is stapled, giving support the hernia site. In the case of a hiatal hernia, no mesh is used, but the site is wrapped with stomach tissue to reinforce the weakened area. The surgery is performed typically under general anesthesia.

How many incisions are made?

Three to four tiny incisions are made around the site of the hernia.

How long do I stay in the hospital?

In most cases, patients are discharged the same day; however, some patients who have had abdominal wall hernia repair may need to stay in the hospital for two days.

What is the recovery time?

Most patients are fully recovered within one week, but should get advice from the surgeon on when it is safe to lift, push or pull heavier objects.

What reasons would the surgeon have to perform an open surgery instead of a minimally invasive procedure?

The surgeon may recommend an open procedure due to a patient’s weight or history of prior surgery that has left scar tissue, making visualization of organs with the camera more difficult.

What are the risks of waiting to have my hernia?

While many hernias do not cause severe pain or discomfort, they can worsen over time or become inflamed, infected or trapped. When this happens, it is an emergency that requires surgery. Talk with your surgeon to determine the best options for you.

WakeMed has many board-certified general surgeons who perform laparoscopic hernia repair. Find a WakeMed surgeon by calling WakeMed Doctor Choice at 919-350-8900.