Your doctor may manually press your hernia back into place and advise you to wear a special belt, known as a truss, that holds a hernia in place until surgery. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help ease discomfort.
Hernia surgery is performed under either local or general anesthesia. The surgeon repositions the herniated tissue and, if strangulation has occurred, removes the oxygen-starved part of the organ. The damaged muscle wall will frequently be repaired with synthetic mesh or tissue.
Increasingly, herniorrhaphy is being performed using a laparoscope, a thin, telescope-like instrument that requires smaller incisions and involves a shorter recovery period and less post-operative pain. Hernia repairs are usually performed as an outpatient procedure. There are usually no dietary restrictions, and work and regular activity may usually be resumed in one or two weeks. Complete recovery takes three to four weeks with no heavy lifting for two to three months.
Hernias may return in less then 5% of cases after surgery, so preventive measures are especially important to avoid a recurrence.
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