UL Inguinal Hernia (with Mesh)
Last updated date: 07-Jan-2023
Originally Written in English
UL Inguinal Hernia (with Mesh)
An inguinal hernia occurs in the groin, in a tube known as the inguinal canal. A protrusion on one side of your pelvic bone may be seen. Abdominal tissue pressing through a hole in your lower abdominal wall causes it. The gap might be congenital (existing at birth) or the result of typical, age-related muscle degeneration.
Inguinal hernias account for up to 75% of all hernias. Inguinal hernias affect around 25% of those assigned male at birth (AMAB), compared to 2% of those designated female at birth (AFAB). Middle-aged and older men are more likely to have direct (acquired) inguinal hernias. Indirect inguinal hernias afflict up to 4% of children, including 2% of AMAB newborns and 1% of AFAB babies.
Male groin hernias that do not produce symptoms do not require repair. Repair is often suggested in females because to the higher incidence of femoral hernias, which have more problems. Strangulation necessitates emergency surgery. Open surgery or laparoscopic surgery can be used to repair the defect. Open surgery has the advantage of being able to be performed under local anesthetic rather than general anesthesia. Following laparoscopic surgery, patients often experience less discomfort.
What is an Inguinal Hernia?
An inguinal hernia is also known as a groin hernia. ("Inguinal" means "in the groin.") It is the most prevalent kind of groin hernia. An inguinal hernia arises in the inguinal canal, which is a channel that runs down either side of your pelvis into your sex organs. The femoral hernia is a less frequent kind of groin hernia that occurs in the smaller femoral canal that runs underneath it.
A hernia happens when tissue from one body cavity bulges through an opening in your muscular wall into another. Hernias occur in several body compartments. The most prevalent kind of hernia is inguinal hernia. It takes place when abdominal tissue, such as belly fat or a loop of intestines, bulges through an opening in your lower abdominal wall. This is the wall that separates your abdomen from your groin.
Other types of hernias that can come through your abdominal muscles include:
- Ventral hernia: When abdominal tissue pushes through your front abdominal wall.
- Hiatal hernia: When part of your stomach pushes up through an opening in your diaphragm into your chest cavity.
Direct inguinal Vs Indirect inguinal hernia
- Direct inguinal hernia: A direct inguinal hernia penetrates your inguinal canal through the wall. Adults develop this form of hernia over time as a result of weakening abdominal muscles and continuous strain on the muscular wall.
- Indirect inguinal hernia: The top of your inguinal canal is where an indirect inguinal hernia enters. This is frequently caused by a congenital defect. The entrance to the canal does not shut completely in certain babies throughout womb development.
Who Does Inguinal Hernia Affect?
Inguinal hernias are more common in those who were assigned male at birth (AMAB) due to anatomy. Above your lower abdominal wall, your testicle falls down your inguinal canal into your scrotum. Because it is a preexisting opening that is readily reopened, the area where your testicle passes through is more susceptible to hernia. And, occasionally, it does not close completely during development.
The inguinal canal is smaller and originates under the abdominal wall in those who are designated female at birth (AFAB). It carries the circular ligament that supports their uterus, and this tough ligament aids in the reinforcement of their muscular wall. Women with connective tissue illnesses, on the other hand, may be more prone to hernias where connective tissue connects their uterus to their inguinal canal. Congenital indirect inguinal hernias can also afflict AFAB newborns.
What is the Main Cause of Inguinal Hernia?
An inguinal hernia arises when your lower abdominal wall has a weakness or hole that permits abdominal tissue to push through. Many factors can play a role in this, including:
- An opening or weak spot that’s present at birth.
- Congenital differences in the strength of your connective tissue (collagen).
- An opening or weak spot from previous abdominal surgery.
- Chronic coughing or sneezing.
- Chronic straining to pee or poop.
- Frequent strenuous exercise or manual labor.
- Years of pregnancy and carrying small children.
- Jobs that require standing for many hours at a time.
- Intrabdominal pressure from chronic obesity.
- Normal age-related tissue degeneration.
When Inguinal Hernia Mesh Repair is Indicated?
- Growth over time. The strain of an existing hernia on weakening tissues might exacerbate the situation. An enlarged testicular hernia that goes down into your scrotum can cause severe swelling in patients with AMAB.
- Incarceration. A hernia that is incarcerated cannot be "reduced," or manually put back into place. As a hernia expands in size, it is more prone to become pinched, causing discomfort and other issues.
- Obstruction of the small bowel. A blockage can occur if a portion of your small intestine herniates and becomes stuck and constricted. It may prevent you from pooping or passing gas, resulting in severe stomach discomfort, nausea, and vomiting.
- Strangulation. A strangulated hernia has been cut off from blood supply. This can lead to inflammation and infection of the tissue, and eventually tissue death (gangrene). Strangulation is a medical emergency.
Types of Hernia Mesh Repair
Laparoscopic or robotic-assisted repair is a minimally invasive surgery that needs general anesthesia. The physician operates through multiple tiny incisions in your belly during this surgery. A laparoscope, a small tube with a tiny camera, is introduced into one incision. The surgeon inserts small devices via additional incisions, guided by the camera, to patch the hernia with synthetic mesh.
The primary benefits of robotic or laparoscopic hernia repair are a decreased chance of infection, less postoperative discomfort, and a faster return to work or normal activities. These benefits are enhanced in patients who have hernias on both sides of their abdomens or recurrent inguinal hernias.
Robotic-assisted or laparoscopic repair allows the surgeon to avoid scar tissue from an earlier hernia repair, so it might be a good choice for people whose hernias recur after open hernia surgery.
Open hernia repair:
The surgeon makes an incision in your groin and pushes the protruding tissue back into your abdomen during open hernia repair. The weakened area is then stitched up, often reinforced with synthetic mesh. The wound is then closed with stitches, staples, or surgical glue.
This procedure is done under either local anesthesia and sedation or general anesthesia. This is an excellent option for patients who are at high risk of complications as a result of general anesthesia.
You will be encouraged to move as soon as possible after surgery, but it may take several weeks before you can resume normal activities.
Deciding Which Technique to Use?
The approach used to repair an inguinal hernia is mostly determined by your overall health: elderly persons or people in poor health may be too weak or fragile to safely undergo a general anaesthetic, thus open surgery is preferred. It may be necessary to use a local anaesthetic.
your surgeon's experience - open surgery is more prevalent than keyhole surgery, and not all doctors have sufficient competence with keyhole methods.
The British Hernia Society recommends that most initial single-sided hernias be repaired using the open approach (those appearing for the first time on just one side).
Recurrent or bilateral hernias are generally treated with keyhole surgery.
Types of Mesh Implants
Each type of hernia mesh may also fall into other categories. These describe how they function in the body or the materials they are made from.
Over time, absorbable mesh weakens and loses strength. It is not utilized to strengthen the healed hernia in the long run. The US Food and Drug Administration notes on its website that "when the material dissolves, fresh tissue development is expected to contribute strength to the repair."
Non-absorbable mesh is a permanent implant. It remains in the body indefinitely. Non-absorbable mesh is supposed to provide lasting reinforcement to the repair site.
Synthetic hernia mesh is available in woven or non-woven sheets. Synthetic materials can be absorbable, non-absorbable, or a mix of the two. Polypropylene, a synthetic plastic, is used to make the most common forms of surgical mesh.
4. Coated or Composite:
At least one hernia repair procedure can expose the intestines to mesh. This can cause the intestines to stick to the mesh, leading to serious consequences. Some polypropylene meshes are available with absorbable fatty acids, cellulose, or collagen coatings. According to the manufacturers, these coatings inhibit adhesions.
Some manufacturers make hernia mesh from animal tissue. They may use the intestine or skin of animals. It usually comes from a pig or cow. Manufacturers process and disinfect it. This type of mesh is also absorbable.
Inguinal Hernia Surgery Preparation
- Because most hernia surgeries are conducted as outpatient procedures, you will most likely be able to go home the same day.
- Depending on your age and medical condition, preoperative preparation may involve blood testing, a medical examination, a chest x-ray, and an EKG.
- You will be required to obtain written consent for surgery once your surgeon has discussed the possible risks and advantages of the procedure with you.
- It is advised that you shower the night before or the morning of the procedure.
- After speaking with your surgeon, an enema or similar preparation may be administered if you are having difficulty moving your bowels.
- You should not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the procedure, save drugs that your surgeon has informed you are okay to take with a sip of water the morning before surgery.
- Aspirin, blood thinners, anti-inflammatory drugs (arthritis meds), anti-diabetic, anti-hypertension and Vitamin E must be temporarily discontinued for several days to a week before to surgery.
- Diet pills or St. John's Wort should be avoided for two weeks before surgery.
- Keep your stomach empty: Don’t eat or drink anything (not even water) after midnight the night before surgery. Your surgery may be canceled if you eat or drink before surgery. If you take any regular medications and have been told to continue them, take them with small sips of water.
- Arrange for help after surgery: Plan to have someone drive you home afterward. You’ll want to take it easy after surgery, too, so you may need extra help at home.
UL Inguinal Hernia (with Mesh) Surgery
Open inguinal hernia repair is frequently performed under local or regional anaesthesia injected into the spine. This means that you will be awake during the treatment, but the region being operated on will be numbed so that you will not feel any discomfort. A general anesthesia is sometimes administered. This means you'll be sleeping and won't experience any discomfort during the process. The surgeon makes a single cut (incision) over the hernia once the anaesthesia has taken effect. This incision is typically 6 to 8cm long. The surgeon then inserts the fatty tissue mass or bowel loop back into your abdomen (tummy). To strengthen the abdominal wall, a mesh is implanted at the weak area where the hernia entered. When the repair is finished, your skin will be stitched shut. These normally dissolve on their own after a few days.
If the hernia has strangulated and a section of the intestine has been destroyed, the affected segment may need to be excised and the two ends of healthy bowel reconnected. This is a larger procedure, and you may need to stay in the hospital for a longer period of time.
UL Inguinal Hernia Mesh Repair Recovery
The day of surgery
On the day of surgery, you will meet a surgical nurse, your surgeon, and an anesthesiologist in the preoperative area, where you will be asked to provide written consent for the procedure. The operation will then be performed in the operating room by a nurse or a surgeon.
The length of recovery following surgery is determined on the kind of hernia and the surgical approach utilized to correct it. Most patients suffer only mild to moderate discomfort at the site of operation, and after they can handle a small snack and walk around sufficiently, they are frequently discharged with a prescription for oral analgesics.
Patients with more complex hernia repairs may require one or more nights in the hospital where stronger pain medications can be used before they are able to care for themselves.
Care for the Incision
You may wash and remove bandages (if any) 24 hours following surgery. For the next two weeks, NO TUB BATHS OR SWIMMING. After showering, gently wipe the incision dry. A drain with dressing on it may exist. Remove the dressing and wash regularly around the drain before applying a thin gauze dressing. You can use a cushion to hold pressure on the surgical region if you need to cough or sneeze.
It's normal for the region surrounding your incision to be swollen, bruised, and uncomfortable at first. Put an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas in a thin towel to minimize swelling. Apply the towel to the swollen region three to five times a day for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. To give extra support, men should wear briefs rather than boxer shorts immediately after surgery. This also helps with post-operative edema. An athletic supporter may be worn if necessary. For ventral hernias, the patient will be given an abdominal binder that must be worn at all times for 6 weeks. It can be removed before to taking a daily shower, but it must be applied afterwards.
For the first 24 hours after surgery, you may not have much of an appetite or feel like to eat heavy foods. We encourage you to keep up with your liquids. As your appetite increases, you will find yourself eating normally. There are no restrictions for diet, just eat what your system can tolerate.
You will be issued a pain medication prescription. For post-operative discomfort, use as prescribed. If you are just feeling little discomfort, over-the-counter drugs such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil/Nuprin (ibuprofen) may suffice. If constipation becomes an issue, a stool softener (Metamucil) or a moderate laxative (Milk of Magnesia) can be used. Continue to take your prescribed medications as directed. Sedatives and/or sleeping tablets should be used with extreme caution since their effects will be amplified by anesthesia and/or pain medication.
You will usually be allowed to drive when you no longer need narcotic (prescription) pain medications for two days.
There are no limits on daily activities, including stair climbing. We encourage you to walk on a regular basis, and there are no distance limitations. You are only limited by your degree of comfort. Unless otherwise advised, do not lift, pull, or push more than 5 pounds for the following two weeks. Heavy workouts are not permitted for 6 weeks following surgery.
The first bowel movement might happen anywhere between 1 and 10 days following surgery. This variation is acceptable as long as you are not nauseated or experiencing stomach pain. Constipation is possible following this procedure, but consuming milk of magnesia (two teaspoons twice a day) might help avoid it.
What Will Happen if Inguinal Hernia is Left Untreated?
Inguinal hernias do not heal on their own. They generally deteriorate. Complications are not certain, although the risk increases over time. Children are at greater risk since they are still developing and their hernias will expand at a quicker rate. Children are also more prone to suffer indirect hernias that extend into their scrotum. A child's inguinal hernia should not be disregarded.
Groin hernias are more common in persons with AFAB, but they are more serious. A woman who has an inguinal hernia is likely to have a concealed femoral hernia behind it that can only be discovered by surgery. Femoral hernias are more likely to cause problems, and 50% of concealed femoral hernias in persons with AFAB necessitate immediate surgery.
How Can I Reduce Risk of Getting Inguinal Hernia Again?
Although there is no way to avoid a congenital inguinal hernia (one that is present at birth), you may lessen your chance of developing a direct inguinal hernia by decreasing wear and tear on your lower abdominal wall. As an example:
- Lift heavy objects from your legs, not your stomach or back.
- If you lift weights, have an expert check your technique.
- Seek treatment for conditions that cause chronic coughing or sneezing.
- Seek treatment for chronic constipation. Diet and lifestyle changes often help.
- Reduce weight in your abdomen.
- Exercise to build core strength and keep your abdominal muscles fit.
Open surgery or laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery can be used to correct an inguinal hernia. The hospital will send you instructions on when to stop eating and drinking before the operation. The surgery normally takes 30 to 45 minutes to perform, and you may usually go home the same day. Some patients stay in the hospital overnight if they have additional medical issues or live alone.