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Epigastric hernia repair surgery can help relieve pain that is caused by an epigastric hernia. Surgery should prevent this type of hernia from appearing again.
An epigastric hernia occurs when a lump develops in the midline between your umbilicus (belly button) and sternum (breastbone) which can cause pain. An epigastric hernia in adults can sometimes be caused by smoking or diabetes.
Your abdominal cavity contains your intestines and other structures.
These are protected by your abdominal wall, which is made up of four layers, including your abdominal muscle. In an epigastric hernia (a form of abdominal hernia), fat pushes out through a weak spot in the wall of your abdomen between your umbilicus and sternum and forms a lump.
Hernia pain can be a burning or aching sensation, which may progressively get more painful as time goes on and the hernia remains untreated. This pain is caused by the muscles being forced apart abnormally, hence the burning and aching sensation.
Developing an epigastric hernia is common in both adults and children. However, there is a quick procedure to remove it, alleviating hernia pain in turn.
The pain and hernia itself can be exacerbated by chronic conditions such as coughing and straining on the toilet. This is because your muscles contract when these actions take place. This puts pressure on the gut and strains the muscles further.
Symptoms of this include a fever, vomiting and sickness. If you experience these symptoms and you have a hernia, you should contact your Consultant immediately as you may require an emergency operation.
Generally, surgeons prefer key-hole surgery as it is quicker, minimally invasive and means you can recover quicker, as well. The time between diagnosis and private hernia surgery is often less than a month, ensuring you receive rapid surgical repair treatment.
Using a lightweight, synthetic mesh, the Consultant will push the fatty tissue back into its normal place. Then, they will push the piece of intestine back into the abdominal cavity and cover it in a lightweight synthetic mesh. This strengthens the abdominal wall, preventing the hernia from popping out again.
This technique is referred to as an umbrella hernia repair. Previous patients who have received this treatment through mesh repair have recommended it rather than a manual pulling of the muscles together to heal the weakness, which can be more intrusive.
This less invasive surgery takes 45 minutes from start to finish, and is a day case, meaning you can arrive and leave on the day of the surgery.
Unfortunately, this type of hernia will not get better without surgery.
Like all surgical procedures, some complications or risk factors can be serious and even cause death. However, you can discuss the following general and specific complications with your doctor:
General complications of any operation
Specific risk factors of this operation
However, you won’t be able to go back to work for one to two weeks.
Returning to work will depend on how much surgery you need and the type of work you do. Your Consultant will remind you that you cannot carry out any heavy lifting for at least six weeks.
Regular exercise should help you to return to normal physical activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask your healthcare team or GP for medical advice or any queries you might have.
After six weeks, most people make a full recovery and can return to normal activities.
If left untreated, an epigastric hernia can cause serious complications.
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