First you’ll have a consultation with one of our hernia surgeons. The appointment includes a physical exam and a thorough medical history. At this time the doctor may recommend scheduling surgery, or there may be additional steps that need to be taken care of before you’re ready for surgery. Depending on the complexity of the hernia, your doctor might want you to have an ultrasound or CT scan, to better see what is going on.
We also will work with you, if necessary, to help you lose weight before the surgery, as research has proven that a patient with reasonable weight for their body frame will have a better outcome after hernia repair.
Prior to your surgery date, our anesthesia team will evaluate you at our Preoperative Services office. This is so they can identify whether you have any potential risk factors we need to know about before giving you anesthesia.
Operating room staff will contact you a day or two before your surgery. They will give you instructions on getting ready for the procedure, and they will tell you where to arrive.
You should arrive approximately two hours prior to your planned surgery time. Surgical and anesthesia personnel will be on hand to address any concerns and answer questions before the procedure. After your surgery is finished, you will spend a few hours in the recovery room. While most hernia surgeries are ambulatory — you go home the same day — some patients need to be admitted to the hospital afterwards.
When you are discharged, your surgical team will give you detailed instructions to follow at home. Most surgeons will ask you — for the first few weeks — to limit exercise, strenuous activity, and the amount of weight you lift. These precautions will depend on your particular hernia and the type of repair you had.
Some degree of postoperative discomfort is expected after any surgery. An electronic prescription for pain medication will be sent directly to your pharmacy, when you are discharged. You might also use over-the-counter Tylenol or ibuprofen.
We’ll ask you to walk frequently at home. We know you might not feel like doing this if you’re uncomfortable. But moving around is an important way to help prevent postoperative complications.
Please notify your surgeon right away if you have increasing pain, fever, or persistent nausea/vomiting after returning home.
Call the phone number on your discharge instructions to schedule your follow-up visit for about two weeks after your surgery. Most patients need only one follow-up visit. If you require more, your surgeon will let you know.