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How to Prepare for Inguinal Hernia Surgery

written by: R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen • edited by: BStone • updated: 12/30/2010

Preparing for inguinal hernia surgery is necessary for all patients. Here we will explore the preparation process.

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    Preparing for inguinal hernia surgery is an important part of the surgical process. It is crucial for a successful surgery and to help minimize the chance of risks. Prior to surgery, patients are often given several papers detailing what they need to do to prepare and it can become overwhelming. Getting the details in an easy-to-follow way will help patients prepare with ease and confidence.

    It is important to keep in mind, however, that all patients should listen to their doctor above everything else because each patient is unique and may require preparation that many other patients do not. The preparation process is done to ensure the patient is healthy enough to do well during the surgery.

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    Medical Evaluation

    Before heading into the operating room, preoperative preparation is necessary. Patients will be asked to share their personal and family history, as well as all medications the patient takes. Medications also includes all herbal and dietary supplements, vitamins and minerals, and over-the-counter medications. A thorough physical exam is also performed to get the patient's weight, height, vital signs, and an overall view of their overall health.

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    Diagnostic Testing

    Blood tests, x-rays, and other testing may be done. Blood testing is almost always done to better get a look at the patient's overall health. An electrocardiogram, urine testing, and a chest x-ray are usually performed to ensure the patient's lungs, heart, and other organs and body structures are working well. If the patient has other diseases and conditions, additional diagnostic tests may be necessary.

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    General Preparation

    Certain medications, especially blood-thinning medications or aspirin, should be stopped a week before surgery. The patient's doctor will discuss this with them. Other drugs and herbs may also need to be stopped to ensure they do not interfere with any aspect of surgery, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, ginseng, extra vitamin E, Gingko, valerian root, kava kava, and any other drug the patient's doctor suggests. Patients should also refrain from alcohol and smoking. Patients will also have to refrain from eating and drinking the night prior to their surgery.

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    The Repair

    Part of preparing for inguinal hernia surgery, is knowing what is going to happen during surgery. Patients are usually given general anesthesia. The surgeon then makes the necessary incisions (incisions made depend on in the surgery is laparoscopic or abdominal). The surgeon will move the hernia sac back to where it should be and then he repairs the muscle defect. Once this is all done, the incisions are closed and the surgery is done. Recovery generally takes two to four weeks, though it may be longer for some patients.

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    Resources

    Mills, D. MD, FACS. (2010). How to Prepare for Surgery. Retrieved on December 28, 2010 from WomentoWomen: http://www.womentowomen.com/womenshealth/howtoprepareforsurgery.aspx

    Baylor College of Medicine. (2010). Hernia Repair Abdominal. Retrieved on December 28, 2010 from Baylor College of Medicine: http://www.debakeydepartmentofsurgery.org/home/content.cfm?proc_name=hernia+repair+abdominal&content_id=274


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