Hernia (Epigastric) Repair
Hernia repair surgery is a very common procedure. A hernia occurs when an internal organ or fatty tissue pushes through a weakness in the surrounding tissue wall, causing a lump. There are many types of hernia.
An epigastric hernia occurs in the epigastric area of the abdominal wall, between the lower part of the breast bone and belly button. It is the result of fatty tissue pushing through the abdominal wall, causing a lump. Often, the lump can be pushed in and may disappear when lying down but straining or coughing can make the lump appear again. If your hernia is growing larger or causing pain, surgery may be recommended.
Epigastric hernias can occur in infants, children, and adults. The most common symptoms of hernias are pain, swelling and discomfort at the site of the hernia but sometimes epigastric hernias won’t show any symptoms so are often undetected.
An epigastric hernia can usually be diagnosed by physical examination. Your consultant can determine which type of abdominal wall hernia you have by carefully feeling for the defect and its location. The diagnosis can be confirmed by an ultrasound or CT scan.
Following diagnosis, your consultant will advise if surgery is appropriate. This is dependent on:
- type of hernia
- content of the hernia
- severity of pain and discomfort
- impact on your day-to-day living
- your general health
An epigastric hernia repair can be performed as a laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery or open surgery. Either procedure will take around half an hour.
Laparoscopic surgery is performed under general anaesthetic. Small incisions are made to allow you surgeon to insert a thin, lighted scope called a laparoscope through one incision and tools to repair the hernia through the other incisions. Laparoscopic surgery is generally a more attractive option for the patient, as there is less damage to surrounding tissue, reduced scarring and recovery times are much faster. However, not all hernias are suitable for laparoscopic surgery.
Open hernia repair can be done under general, spinal, or local anaesthesia. An incision is made close to the site of the hernia to enable your surgeon to push the hernia back into position and repair the weakened area using stitches or a piece of reinforcing synthetic mesh.
Recovery following surgery
It is usually possible to return home on the day of your surgery. You will need someone to drive you and you should have someone with you for at least 24 hours following a general anaesthetic.
You will need to completely rest for the first couple of days after surgery to heal. After a couple of days, you may feel ready to do light tasks around the home and go for a walk.
After 2 weeks, you should be able to return to light exercise such as jogging, cycling and swimming.
You should be able to return to work 1-2 weeks following surgery, although if your job is physically demanding you will need to take a longer time off.
Complete recovery from hernia repair surgery will take 4-6 weeks. Recovery is generally faster with laparoscopic surgery, rather than open surgery. However, contact sports and all forms of lifting should be avoided until two months has passed to ensure that the tissues have healed properly and minimise the chance of recurrence.
At One Healthcare we can book you in to see a specialist surgeon, usually within 48 hours, for an initial consultation. Epigastric hernia repair is available at One Ashford Hospital in Kent and One Hatfield Hospital in Hertfordshire.
You can use your private medical insurance or pay for your Hernia (Epigastric) Repair treatment. We offer competitive, fixed price packages as well as the ability to spread your cost with the option of 0% finance. If you are using your health insurance, please contact your insurer first for approval and let them know you’d like to be treated at One Hatfield Hospital.
Why One Hatfield
- Modern purpose-built hospital opened in December 2017
- Fast access to diagnostics including MRI, Xray and Ultrasound
- Private, spacious, en-suite rooms
- Specialist physiotherapy and nursing teams
- Little or no waiting time
- ‘Ultra clean air’ theatres
- Freshly prepared food
- Calm, dignified experience
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