Although most hernias begin as a benign issue, they can become bigger and more painful over time. Once a hernia has developed, it will not resolve on its own and must be treated by a specialized expert like Dr. Dumanian. Because hernias are common and many patients come into Dr. Dumanian’s practice seeking hernia repair, the doctor thought it would be wise to expand on the topic in this blog post.
Most hernias are diagnosed through a physical examination, during which your doctor will feel for a bulge in your abdomen that gets larger when you stand, cough or do a sit-up. Depending on the hernia size and your medical history, a CT scan is sometimes obtained to determine the size and extent of your hernia and to evaluate for any associated bowel issues. Your doctor will use this information gathered from the CT scan to determine the best way to repair the hernia.
Simple hernias are repaired in an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia with sedation. Simple hernias are repaired by opening the abdominal wall, moving the protruding tissue back into the abdomen, and then re-approximating the muscles using strips of mesh tied as sutures (as “mesh sutured” repair). Larger and more complicated hernias are always repaired under full general anesthesia, require one to five days of hospitalization, and often require long incisions. The bowel is taken off of the hernia in order to be placed back into the abdomen, and a narrow sheet of mesh is sewn in place to achieve closure. The largest hernias require additional small incisions on the sides of the abdomen to relax one of the three side muscles in order to bring the “six-pack” (rectus muscles) back to the midline.
Recovering from Surgery
Depending on the size and complexity of your hernia, your initial recovery may take anywhere between a few days to several months. Patients sometimes leave the hospital with drains that require removal in our office, and they must enlist family support for help at home and with driving. In any case, your recovery process is crucial to the success of your surgery. Not following your doctor’s post-operative instructions (such as when to resume exercise and normal activities) can lead to you developing another hernia.
Schedule a Personal Consultation with Dr. Dumanian
To learn more about hernia surgery and repair with Dr. Dumanian, schedule an initial consultation with the doctor. Please call his Chicago office today at (312) 695-1999.