Why is hernia surgery required?

By Dr. Vinod Kumar Nigam in General Surgery

Apr 13 , 2015 | 1 min read

Why is hernia surgery required?

Hernia causes pain and discomfort & can cause dangerous complications such as intestinal obstruction, strangulation (hampering of blood supply), and gangrene (tissue death) which are life-threatening conditions. It never gets cured itself.

The hernia operation is essentially done to:

  • Replace the protruded organ back to the abdominal cavity.
  • Repair the weak area of the abdominal wall through which protrusion occurs.

Usually, the hernia operation is performed by either of the two following techniques

  • Open Tension-free Hernia Repair: A prosthesis such as polypropylene mesh is introduced from outside to cover the defect. An open operation may be done under local anesthesia.
  • Laparoscopic Hernia Repair: A prosthesis such as polypropylene mesh is used to cover the defect through the abdominal cavity. Laparoscopic hernia repair is under general anesthesia. Nowadays local anesthesia used is long-acting, so the effect lasts for 4 to 6 hours. The patient walks out of the operation theatre and is soon discharged.

If I do not go for hernia surgery, then can it cause any harm?

Usually, a hernia is a reducible bulge that goes back to the abdomen on lying or on manipulation. Hernia can lead to the following complications:

  • Irreducibility- Hernia cannot be pushed back into the abdomen.
  • Obstruction – The intestine in the hernia is blocked.
  • Incarceration – hernia is painful and not reducible.
  • Strangulation – pain, vomiting, and inability to pass flatus and stool develops. The blood supply of the intestine is cut off.
  • The intestine loop dies. It is a dangerous and life-threatening condition

What is a hernia and how does it occur?

A hernia is a protrusion of a body organ through a weak area or a natural orifice through which it does not pass ordinarily.

Usually, the term hernia means abdominal wall hernia. It occurs due to a weakness in the abdominal wall. It may be congenital (by birth) or acquired.

Swelling or a bulge is noticed when the patient strains or stands. Some hernias cause pain and some do not cause any pain. The first sign may be a bulge. You may have discomfort or dragging pain.

What causes a hernia?

The common causes are:

  • Straining while defecating as in chronic constipation
  • Excessive coughing
  • Over strenuous exercises
  • Smoking causes coughing and deficiency of collagen tissue which causes weakness of the abdominal wall.

What are the types of hernia?

The common types of hernia are: