Laparoscopic hernia repair is a sophisticated minimally invasive technique that has a much higher success rate than open surgery.
“While there are several treatment options for hernia, if you want an effective procedure that ensures a quick recovery with no complications, laparoscopic surgery is your best option,” says a senior hernia specialist at Pristyn Care.
Laparoscopic hernia repair is typically performed under general anaesthesia. It is a key-hole procedure in which a small incision near the belly button is made and the abdomen is inflated with CO2 gas. This elevates the abdomen and provides the surgeon with a better view of the pelvic organs.
The surgeon then repositions the hernia using a camera-equipped laparoscope. Occasionally, a mesh is inserted to keep the surrounding muscles in place. This eliminates the possibility of the organ perforating the weakened muscles again.
The primary goal of recovery following a laparoscopic hernia repair is to manage pain, promote wound healing, and reestablish abdominal muscle health.
Each patient’s recovery from laparoscopic surgery is unique. Each patient heals at his or her own pace.
The following factors are critical in determining the rate of recovery following laparoscopic hernia surgery:
- The patient’s overall health
- Surgery’s scope
- If an intraoperative complication occurs
- If you are considering laparoscopic-assisted hernia surgery and are concerned about the outcome, you have come to the right place. Continue reading to learn what a patient experiences following a hernia repair and how to manage the recovery period.
- What to Expect Following Hernia Surgery via Laparoscopy
In general, patients who undergo laparoscopic hernia repair experience the following common complications:
Postoperative pain and discomfort may occur when a patient awakens from anaesthesia in the recovery room. It is necessary to ensure that pain is appropriately managed.
Physical activity restrictions following surgery: There are no established guidelines for activity restrictions following laparoscopic procedures. In some cases, doctors typically advise patients to abstain from driving for two weeks. Only drive if you are confident in your ability to stop the vehicle in an emergency; otherwise, arrange for someone to drive you.
Additionally, swimming and bathing are prohibited. You may take the stairs if you are able. When resuming routine exercise following surgery, exercise caution and gradually increase your level of activity.
Sexual activity should be limited for at least two weeks following hernia repair. Additionally, the duration may vary depending on the extent of the procedure. Following laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair, sexual activity is typically unrestricted. In such cases, the patient is likely to experience discomfort and pain around the incision site for a week or two.
Following surgery, the scrotum of male patients may be discoloured, tender, or noticeably swollen. Within a week or two, the swelling subsides and the patient can resume normal activities and sexual intercourse. Sexual activity prior to complete healing can result in complications.
Abdominal discomfort / bloating: Some degree of abdominal pain and swelling is to be expected following laparoscopic hernia repair. This is a symptom of intestinal distension that resolves with time. Gas pains in the intraperitoneal cavity are caused by gas that has become trapped outside the intestines but still within the abdominal cavity.
Nausea is a very common adverse reaction to laparoscopy. The primary cause of nausea following hernia surgery is anaesthesia. Additionally, nausea can be caused by pain medication or antibiotics during the first 24 hours following surgery. If the problem persists for more than 2-3 days, consult your surgeon.
Shoulder pain: The carbon dioxide gas used to augment the abdomen artificially during laparoscopy has the potential to irritate the phrenic nerve. This is due to the diaphragm being clogged with trapped carbon dioxide gas (breathing muscle). This irritation manifests as chest pain and discomfort that extends up into the shoulder region, a condition known as “referred pain,” which may occur when taking deep breaths. This type of pain can last several days following hernia surgery. It will resolve on its own eventually, but walking and moving around can help. Massage, cold/heat packs, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen or paracetamol) are frequently the most effective treatments.
If the pain persists or worsens, other possible causes of chest pain, such as heart or lung problems, must be ruled out.
Sore throat: Some patients may experience a sore throat as a result of the anaesthetic tube being placed. Lozenges for the throat or a cup of hot tea can help alleviate the discomfort, which should subside within a few days.
Minor bruises: In some patients, minor bruises may develop at the incision sites. This is due to “the trocars,” a type of plastic sleeve capable of severing small vessels just beneath the skin. These are typically self-resolving. Pain around the incisions is common and will subside within a few days. You may experience “pins and needles” at the incision site as a result of the nerves being cut. Eventually, these nerves will heal.
Along with managing the aforementioned side effects of hernia surgery according to the doctor’s instructions, the patient should also take the following precautions:
Proper wound care: Physicians advise patients to keep wounds clean and dry. No special creams or ointments are required. The incisions are closed with a suture that dissolves naturally beneath the skin. Sutures are covered with a surgical glue called “derma-bond,” which seals the incision and stays in place for at least two weeks. Only when the doctor permits, remove the glue with soap and water and gentle scrubbing.
Take care when showering: Doctors permit you to shower for only 36 hours following surgery. Before showering, the individual should remove any bandages from the incisions. Additionally, avoid itching and using any harsh soaps near the incision site, as these can result in suture rupturing and inflammation.
It is not uncommon to notice small pieces of tape (dubbed steri-strips) adhered directly to the skin. While showering, it is acceptable to get these small tapes wet. Seven to ten days after surgery, the tapes will begin to peel away from the ends. They have served their purpose at this point, and the patient may gently peel them off completely. Remember, no baths, pools, or hot tubs for two weeks to avoid infection.
Avoid medication overdose: Because prescription medications for postoperative pain have the potential to cause constipation, they should be used sparingly. Occasionally, narcotic analgesia can aid in sleep.
Apply a heat pack to the lower abdomen: It is safe to do so. Coughing can be inconvenient. While coughing, it may be beneficial to use a pillow to support your abdomen.
What should I do if I develop severe postoperative complications?
It is quite normal for a few days following hernia correction surgery to experience some discomfort and pain. These typically resolve on their own and are not cause for alarm. However, if your discomfort becomes severe or you notice any postoperative complications such as inflammation, skin reddening, or bleeding, contact a hernia specialist.
You can seek expert advice from a Pristyn Care hernia specialist. Pristyn Care employs some of the country’s most skilled specialists and laparoscopic surgeons. They have successfully treated several hernia patients with minimal complications.
You can easily schedule an appointment with one of their physicians via their website – www.pristyncare.com.
source: ANI via PNN
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