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Hernias | Symptoms | Umbilical | Hernia repair | Recovery | Inguinal | Hernia operation | Surgery risks | Hiatus hernia | After an operation

Although the symptoms of a hernia can be addressed through medication or diet and lifestyle changes, the only way to fully repair a hernia is with surgery. Fortunately, hernia repair operations are relatively straightforward and, in most cases, very successful.

Traditional hernia repair involves open surgery where one long incision is made in the area to be treated. The modern keyhole technique, on the other hand, involves several much smaller incisions to allow for the insertion of a laparoscope (a telescopic device with a light and camera) as well as the necessary surgical instruments.

Hernia repair operations shouldn't be painful as a local or general anesthetic is used. However, patients may feel some discomfort in the hours and days following surgery.

Recovery from a hernia repair operation is fairly quick, particularly when keyhole surgery is used. Patients may be allowed to return home the same day, although several nights in hospital may be required in some cares.

Full recovery from a hernia repair procedure will take between seven and fourteen days, during which a great deal of rest is needed to allow your body to heal properly. Even after this period, you should still avoid trying to do too much. Strenuous exercise, heavy lifting and contact sports should be avoided for alt least six weeks.

Operations to repair hernias aren't always permanent. Hernias can reoccur even after the most thorough of surgical procedures. A hernia repair may push the offending tissue back into place, and strengthen the surrounding area, but it may not be able to prevent the same thing happening in the future. Open surgery will often lower the risk of reoccurrence as it allows the surgeon to carry out a more complete repair.

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