Hernia: General & Post-Surgery Complications

Hernia: General & Post-Surgery Complications

A hernia happens when an area, often part of your intestine or abdominal organ or tissue, pushes through a layer of muscle and bulges out.

The most common types of hernias usually happen around the abdominal wall, and you can feel and see a bulge under your skin. The smallest of hernias can cause severe intense pain and discomfort, especially when you’re straining while lifting a heavy object, having a strenuous bowel movement or doing some strenuous physical activities.

Most hernias are curable, which means that the hernia tissue can be manipulated back into its original place through Hernia surgery. However, some hernias are irreducible and cannot be pushed back to their original location. This situation can lead to the following complications:

  • Strangulation

The constant pressure on the hernia site can cause a toll on the blood supply, leading to ischemia, cell death, and gangrene development. A strangulated hernia is a life-threatening complication and requires immediate surgery

  • Obstruction

When you have an abdominal hernia, there are times when bowel contents may not pass directly through the herniated area, which leads to you facing discomfort, cramps, absence of defecation and vomiting. This is what is termed as Obstruction. 

Through hernia surgeries, it is possible to push the bulging hernia back. But in some cases, complications can happen, which causes the hernia to get trapped and cannot be pushed back.

In more severe hernia cases, the tissue in a hernia can die because of losing its blood supply and becoming infected. Even if the hernia doesn’t develop complications naturally, there are complications after the hernia surgery.

Due to the risk of a hernia causing obstruction and becoming strangulated, people with this condition should visit and consult their urologist at the earliest. Consult your doctors if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Severe and sudden pain
  • Feeling of vomiting and nausea
  • Acidity and constipation
  • Hernia started feeling tender or firm and won’t move back into its original location

Complications after Hernia surgery

The procedure of hernia surgery is very safe, with only a very minimal risk of complications occurring after the hernia surgery.

After having inguinal hernia surgery, males may start to experience some pain and swelling around their scrotum or may feel the presence of gangrene which may lead to problems in the bowel. Serious problems that may convert to complications after the hernia surgery can be numbness at the surgery site for a long infection, and hernia recurrence.

Some other complication that can occur post-surgery can be the rejection of the mesh, which is used to repair the hernia by your body. In this case, your body refuses to accept the mesh, and it needs to be removed. The mesh rejection by the body can be detected through symptoms like- pain and swelling around the area where the mesh was placed.

The risk of complications in hernia is very low but can occur after surgery when you are

  • Over the age of 50 years
  • Your hernia has been prevalent for over one year
  • You face other illnesses like heart disease

Some other and severe complication can be:

  • Bleeding

Hernia surgeries are done by making incisions around your abdominal areas. In TEP and TAPP laparoscopic inguinal hernia surgery, three tiny incisions are made. During these surgeries, hemostasis, which is the assurance there is no bleeding, is made. But in some cases, mild bleeding can occur after the surgery is complete. This complication can lead to the potential of hematoma (collection of blood) in the space where the hernia was. If you experience any post-surgery bleeding, apply warm compression followed by consulting your doctor.

  • Bladder and Urine Injury or Infection

Less than 5% of patients after their hernia surgery experience urinary retention, which means they face trouble initiating a urinary stream. If this complication occurs, a temporary insertion of a urinary catheter is done, which is removed after one to three days as treatment.

Another complication is a bladder injury during the surgery, which is very rare. Still, if you have ever had any prostate surgery in the past, you must discuss it with your surgeon.

  • Acute and Chronic Pain

You need to note if you feel any groin pain or leg pain before and after the operation and share that with your doctor. The usual recovery time after a laparoscopic hernia repair surgery is 2-14 days. During this time, you might experience moderate incisional pain and mild groin discomfort. But the pain is gone by the 3rd or 4th week after surgery. 

  • Acute severe groin pain

If you experience any severe groin pain after your surgery, you should bring this to your doctor’s attention. This pain can be because of the use of the surgical material used. 

  • Chronic groin pain

Chronic groin pain is defined as the presence of pain, discomfort, or hypersensitivity existing for more than three months after surgery. If you experience any prolonged pain, put this to your doctor’s notice before things get serious.

All these complications can cause a toll on the patient’s mind whether or not to get hernia surgery done. But always remember, these complications have a scarce chance of happening, and these should never affect your decision of getting your hernia surgery done.

Regardless of the decision you make, it is essential to know the true incidence of complications in hernia surgery to make an educated decision!

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