A hernia is an abnormal protrusion of the intestine or another internal organ through a weakened section of the abdominal wall. While hernias can cause you discomfort, pain or an aching sensation, they can be easily rectified with simple surgery, which leaves little scarring and has a very quick recovery time.
What causes a hernia?
Hernias can occur due to a natural weakness in the abdominal wall, but can also be caused by heavy lifting, straining, a persistent cough or being slightly overweight. In the majority of cases they appear in the groin crease, but can also be present through or around the navel or through pre-existing surgical incisions or indeed anywhere in the abdomen!
Signs and symptoms of a hernia
The most common sign of a hernia is an irregular bulge around the navel or groin area which reduces when pressure is applied. This is often accompanied by a persistent dull aching and pain when coughing, straining or bending. You may also experience a sensation of bloating and fullness, which can be very uncomfortable.
Other things you need to know
Surgery is almost always recommended for adults to reduce the risk of the hernia enlarging and also to prevent serious and nasty pain developing . In most cases hernias are uncomfortable but not a serious health risk, although they can lead to severe complications if not operated on and fixed. If a hernia becomes trapped and the blood supply to a portion of the intestine is cut off – referred to as strangulation – it can cause gangrene and death within a matter of hours if left untreated.
If you feel intense abdominal pain, become nauseated, have an increased heart rate and signs of a fever, or if the hernia begins to bulge and change colour, you should seek medical treatment immediately.
Hernias are easily treated with simple day surgery, meaning you can be released within hours of the operation. A mesh is used to reinforce the abdominal wall, and keyhole surgery means there is little scarring or physical trace of the procedure.
With many years’ experience in treating hernia patients in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas, Mr Achal Khanna is one of the most qualified and experienced hernia surgeons in the Milton Keynes region. If you are concerned that you may have a hernia and require expert advice and surgery, please contact Mr Khanna’s clinic: 01908 305 127
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to fix a hernia?
In the majority of cases, surgery is recommended for adults to reduce the risk of the hernia enlarging and to prevent serious pain developing.
Can hernias become serious if left?
In most cases, hernias are not a serious health risk. However, they will not get better on their own, and if not operated on and fixed, they can lead to severe complications. If a hernia becomes trapped and the blood supply to a portion of the intestine is cut off, known as strangulation, it can cause gangrene and death within a matter of hours if left untreated.
How long will I need take to off work following hernia surgery?
This depends on the type of work you do. There is a quicker recovery time with keyhole surgery than open surgery. In general, you will be able to return to work in around one to two weeks if you do not do any heavy manual work or lifting.
How long does the procedure take?
The surgeon will talk you through the procedure. The surgery usually takes between 35 and 40 minutes.
When can I drive again/play sport?
After one to two weeks you should be well enough to drive and to take part in light sport. If you can perform an emergency stop in your car without feeling pain or discomfort, you should be ready to drive again. You can test this in an unmoving car.
Is it a day case operation?
Hernias are easily treated with simple day surgery, meaning you can be released within hours of the operation. If a patient has other health issues there may be need for further hospital stay.
Will the procedure be painful?
Keyhole surgery is carried out under anaesthetic so you do not feel any pain during the procedure.
Can hernias come back?
Yes, hernias can come back. However, there is less likelihood of re-occurrence when a mesh is used to reinforce the abdominal wall.
What are the risks of hernia surgery?
As with all surgery, there are risks of complications such as infection. Your surgeon will discuss the risks with you prior to surgery.
Which is better - open surgery or laparoscopy?
Laparoscopy, or keyhole surgery, involves less pain, and patients return to play sport and work far quicker than traditional open surgery. After keyhole surgery, any scars are also not nearly as obvious as those obtained after traditional surgery.