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4 Important Questions to Ask Your General Surgeon Before Hernia Surgery

4 Important Questions to Ask Your General Surgeon Before Hernia Surgery

If you’ve been advised to have corrective surgery for your hernia, you’re in excellent hands with Dr. Johnny L. Serrano, your general surgeon in Glendale, Arizona. As a board-certified specialist who uses minimally invasive hernia repair techniques whenever possible, he strives to minimize tissue damage, reduce the risk of infection, and foster a faster recovery.

Before every hernia surgery scheduled through Precision Surgery and Advanced Vein Therapy, Dr. Serrano always lets you know what you can expect each step of the way and takes time to go over all your questions and concerns. 

Asking the following questions before your hernia procedure can help you ensure you’re getting the best, most effective treatment possible from an experienced surgeon and medical team.

1. Do I need hernia surgery now, or can it wait?

A hernia is a separation or weak area in your muscle and connective tissues that allows underlying tissues (usually fat or part of the intestines) to push through. Most hernias appear in the groin or somewhere along the abdominal wall.

Unfortunately, a hernia won’t heal or go away on its own, and conservative treatment options like physical therapy or bracing can’t help correcting it. The only way to resolve a hernia is with surgery, and most hernias eventually worsen if left untreated for too long.  

2. Which surgical approach is best for me?

Over a million Americans undergo hernia repair surgery every year, making it one of the most common procedures in the United States. For four in five cases, the operation is done to treat an inguinal hernia, the most common type.  

There are two primary forms of hernia surgery: conventional open surgery, the kind that’s done through a long incision, and minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery using advanced techniques via tiny incisions. 

Dr. Serrano also offers a third hernia repair option — one that he pioneered himself — called ultra-minimally invasive (UMI) surgery. UMI hernia repair is an innovative approach that combines robotics and laparoscopy for superior outcomes.    

While the technique that best suits your needs largely depends on the location and severity of your hernia as well as your medical history, a minimally invasive approach works well for most people. Dr. Serrano can help you understand your options after a thorough exam and review of your medical history. 

3. Are there different hernia repair techniques?

There are dozens of surgical techniques for repairing a hernia, ranging from a simple suture (no mesh) repair to various reinforced repairs where the mesh is placed between muscle layers or beneath all muscle layers.  

In the United States and at Precision Surgery and Advanced Vein Therapy, the use of mesh in inguinal, ventral, and incisional hernia repair is the standard of care. This is because surgical mesh has been proven to strengthen the area around the hernia, thereby helping to reduce the rate of hernia recurrence.  

International guidelines for inguinal and femoral hernia repair suggest that in most cases, placing mesh under muscle layers is better than placing it between muscle layers, and that during the repair, local anesthesia is usually better than general anesthesia. 

Dr. Serrano will let you know the exact hernia repair technique he plans to use, and why he’s choosing that specific approach over other possible options.   

4. What are the chances my hernia will return?

In most cases, hernia repair surgery is a curative treatment that puts an end to the problem for good. Some people, however, have a higher-than-average risk of recurrence, meaning their hernia might eventually come back after it’s been surgically repaired. 

A variety of factors — ranging from body weight, patient health, and tissue quality to hernia location and size, repair technique, and prior repair — can influence the odds of recurrence.  

Nationally, the recurrence rates for groin (inguinal or femoral) hernias is 1-3%; for abdominal (ventral) hernias, it’s 5-10%; for complex hernias, it’s as high as 20% depending on the nature of the hernia and other factors. Hernias that aren’t repaired with mesh can recur in up to one in three cases. 

Most importantly, recurrence is most likely (up to 30% risk) following treatment at a general surgery center, and least likely (less than 1% risk) following treatment in a specialized center by a board-certified surgeon like Dr. Serrano who performs hernia repair procedures on a routine basis. 

To learn more about minimally invasive hernia surgery at Precision Surgery and Advanced Vein Therapy in Glendale, Arizona, call 623-321-5663 or click online to schedule a visit with Dr. Serrano today.

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