Why Wait, Why Worry – Hernia Repair

With hernia repair being the hot topic in the press, we caught up with our Consultant General and Colorectal Surgeon Mr Gary Atkin to get the answers to the key questions patients need to know

Mr Atkin specialises in Laparoscopic Surgery otherwise known as keyhole surgery.

He takes pride in a compassionate approach ensuring all his patients are completely comfortable and informed regarding any treatment – giving them the control to make the right decision regarding their healthcare

What are the most common symptoms of a Hernia?

The common symptoms of a hernia are a lump or popping sensation in the groin. This may be associated with pain, but not always. Similarly as the hernia enlarges it can increasingly cause a dragging sensation.

These symptoms often then lead to problems during physical activity, such as exercise or day to day things like getting in and out of the car.

What are the benefits of having surgery?

The benefits of surgery are that it will alleviate the associated symptoms. Patients can resume normal activities such as exercise.

It also eliminates the rare complication of a strangulated hernia, that would require an emergency operation

Why would you recommend Laparoscopic (keyhole) Surgery?

Keyhole surgery is recommended as it leads to smaller scars on the skin and less scarring in the groin, so the risk of chronic pain syndrome is less.

It also causes less wound pain on average after surgery. This is of particular benefit if you have a hernia in both groins

How much time would you need off work?

Although there will be some discomfort for the first few weeks, patients can return to normal activities straight away. However, driving is best avoided for at least a week and strenuous physical activities, such as competitive sport, should be avoided for at least 3 weeks. Time off work would depend on the actual job and the necessary physical activities. As a general rule, one week should be enough

Are there any risks involved?

The risks are those associated with any general anaesthetic, including heart and lung problems, although these risks are usually very low.

Specific surgical risks include wound infection, small risk of recurrent hernia in the future, and a rare complication called chronic pain syndrome, caused by scarring around the nerves in the groin

Are there any alternative solutions?

The only alternative is a support belt called a truss. However this can be uncomfortable to wear and does not correct the underlying hernia.

Typically patients try using a truss but eventually seek surgical correction

One Hatfield Hospital gives patients direct access to leading consultants, imaging and treatment with no waiting lists or delay

To find out more or book your Consultation contact our Reservations Team on 01707 443333 or email hatfield.reservations@onehealthcare.co.uk