Inguinal hernia may be a difficult condition to pronounce, but it’s a common condition to have — especially among men. About 27% of men and 3% of women experience an inguinal hernia at some point in their life. While it can occur at any age, most inguinal hernias appear in middle age.
While inguinal hernias aren’t always painful or even problematic, they don’t resolve on their own and can readily worsen over time. When hernia symptoms do develop, board-certified general surgeon Dr. Michael Sutker and our skilled team at Michael Sutker, MD, in Dallas and McKinney, Texas, can perform minimally invasive surgery to repair the problem for good.
While inguinal hernia repair is a simple procedure, there are risk factors that can interfere with your healing process. Here, Dr. Sutker shares three risk factors associated with complications and delayed recovery following inguinal hernia repair surgery.
What is inguinal surgery repair?
An inguinal hernia happens when part of your intestines or other internal tissues push through a weakened area in your abdominal muscles, creating a visible bulge in your groin. To repair this type of hernia, Dr. Sutker uses laparoscopic and robot-assisted techniques.
First, he makes a few small incisions near your groin. Through one incision, he inserts a thin scope with a tiny camera. Through another incision, Dr. Sutker uses tiny specialized surgical instruments to move your intestines back into position and repair the hole in your abdominal wall with surgical mesh.
This minimally invasive technique means minimal incidental tissue damage, less pain, and a shorter recovery compared to conventional open hernia repair surgery.
Risk factors that affect healing after a hernia repair
All surgeries come with risks, such as bleeding and infection. While these risks are lower with minimally invasive hernia repair surgery, certain factors can impede normal healing. You’re more likely to experience complications if you:
Research shows that uncontrolled diabetes is associated with a higher risk of postoperative complications within 30 days of inguinal hernia surgery, especially for people with complicated diabetes. Therefore, managing your diabetes in the weeks prior to your procedure can improve your post-surgical outcome.
Smoke or vape
Smoking increases your risk of developing an inguinal hernia and also interferes with your healing. Smoking restricts blood flow, increases the likelihood of coughing, and weakens your muscle walls. It’s vital to quit smoking if you’re planning to undergo hernia repair surgery.
Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of developing a hernia and also interfere with the healing process post-surgery. People with a high body mass index (BMI ) have a higher rate of blood clots, infection, and hernia recurrence.
Additionally, patients who are overweight tend to have longer surgeries and hospital stays. Losing even just 5-10% of your body weight before hernia repair can help reduce your risk of complications and improve your surgery outcome.
To learn more about hernia repair surgery at Michael Sutker, MD, call your nearest office in Dallas or McKinney, Texas, today, or book an appointment online any time.