What Are The Risks With Second Surgery For Recurrent Hernias?

A hernia is a condition that causes an organ or tissue, most commonly the stomach or intestines, to erupt from a tear in the lower abdominal wall. Hernias can develop in other parts of the body such as the upper thighs, belly button, and inner and outer groin. While most hernias are not immediately life threatening, patients should seek medical attention to treat their hernia to prevent further complications.

According to the British Hernia Centre (BHC), approximately 70% of all hernias are inguinal hernias. This type of hernia is the one we alluded to previously where the intestines push through a weak spot in the abdomen, usually the inguinal canal. Other types of hernias include hiatal hernias, which force a part of your stomach to protrude through the diaphragm in the chest; umbilical hernias, which occur in newborns and babies under the age of 6 months; and incisional hernias, which develop after abdominal surgery.  

The most common cause of a hernia is muscle weakness in the abdominal wall from a congenital defect, age, chronic coughing, or damage from surgery or an injury, combined with physical strain or pressure applied to the abdomen. A hernia may develop if you have muscle weakness in the abdomen and you’re pregnant, constipated, in an occupation that requires heavy lifting, have a condition that causes persistent coughing and sneezing, or if you’re overweight.

Medications may help patients with hiatal hernias, but more often than not, patients will need surgery to repair their hernia. During a laparoscopic procedure, a physician will use small surgical equipment to put the part of your intestine or stomach back into your body. A surgical mesh may also be used to close the hole in your abdomen.

While the risk of a hernia returning is relatively rare (approximately 0.5-15% chance of recurrence), it can still happen. If your hernia returns, your surgeon at Scottsdale Liberty Hospital will likely monitor the hernia before suggesting a second surgery. Small recurrent hernias that don’t produce symptoms or cause health issues may be observed and treated non-surgically. If a patient’s hernia is causing pain or it impairs their ability to move or perform normal daily functions, a second surgery will be considered.

Like with a surgical procedure, there is a risk involved with going under the knife to repair a hernia. The risk of complications is somewhat higher in patients having surgery to fix a recurrent hernia. Nevertheless, the surgeons at Scottsdale Liberty Hospital are experts and know what needs to be done in order to perform the surgery successfully.

Although small, there is a chance of a third recurrence even after the second surgery. The surgeon will go over these risks with you in person and determine the best possible course of action for your case. Every patient is different, so there is no concrete way of determining risk without evaluating the patient’s medical history first.

For more information on Scottsdale Liberty Hospital and how we can help you or a loved one, visit our information request page, or contact us at 480-586-2300

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.