Living With Henry
( An Inguinal Hernia )
NHS Direct Self-Help
Guide entry on Inguinal hernias (rupture)
in adults including description,
symptoms, diagnosis, treatment.
Inguinal Hernia Repair
||Discovered a growing
'lump' whilst showering and
suspected a hernia.
||Local GP diagnosed an
inguinal hernia and referred me
to a hospital specialist.
received in the mail.
||Discomfort and protrusion
||I called the hospital
about the posibility of speeding
things up, but was told they do
not operate a 'cancellations'
system and I should return to my
doctor if necessary.
||Returned to my local GP
to express my concerns over the
rapid deterioration of my
condition. He confirmed I just
had to put up with it and wait
for my hospital appointment.
||Confirmation in the mail
that I had reached the top of the
hospital waiting list. Phoned as
instructed and was allocated an
appointment on Wednesday
28/01/02004 at 2:20pm at the
General Outpatient Department,
Hospital and after a brief
examination, the diagnosis of an
inguinal hernia was confirmed,
and that surgery would be
necessary - the waiting list for
surgery could be up to nine
||Received a 'patients
||Confirmation in the mail
that a surgery slot is available
on the Day Ward at Southmead
hospital on Thursday 28th
Pre-op health check examination
booked for 6th October at
||waiting - bulging -
Hospital and FINALLY, had my
laparoscopic hernia operation!
|- to date
||No further problems. All
fixed and sorted. :o)
What are the symptoms?
An inguinal hernia causes a bulge in the
groin area, (yes!) which can extend
to the scrotum in men (it's
getting there!!!!!!!). This type of
hernia is often painless, but may be
tender and can cause discomfort during
any type of physical strain, such as
lifting or coughing. Men may feel a
heaviness around the scrotum. The bulge
may disappear when the patient is lying
down, and be more visible when standing
up. (yes!) A hernia can often be pushed
gently back into place. (yes but
sometimes with some difficulty!) This is called a
reducible hernia. When a hernia cannot be
pushed back into place, it means a piece
of the intestine has become trapped, or
incarcerated, in the inguinal canal.
Symptoms include pain, nausea, vomiting,
inability to have a bowel movement, and a
bulge that remains even when lying down.
When a portion of the intestine is
incarcerated, its blood supply can be cut
off, which means the intestinal tissue
will die. This condition is called a
strangulated hernia. Inguinal hernias
usually increase in size with time and
can occur on both sides of the body
(bilateral inguinal hernia).
What is the treatment?
Patients with inguinal hernias can wear a
special type of belt, called a truss, to
support the hernia and keep it from
bulging out. They should also avoid any
activities that cause abdominal strain.
However, most patients elect surgery to
repair inguinal hernias and avoid the
possibility of a strangulated hernia. The
procedure to repair a hernia involves
pushing the piece of intestine back into
place and repairing the abdominal wall so
the intestine cannot push through again.
Hernia surgery, called herniorrhaphy,
used to involve a large incision and a
long recovery period. However, many
hernia repairs can now be performed
through laparoscopic surgery. The surgeon
uses a special viewing instrument called
a laparoscope, inserted through a small
incision in the abdomen. The laparoscope
is like a tiny video camera that gives
the surgeon a clear view of the abdominal
area. Other small incisions are made to
insert the surgical instruments used to
push the intestine into place and repair
the abdominal wall. The surgeon may use a
procedure called hernioplasty to
reinforce the entire inguinal area with
synthetic material, like a tire patch.
Laparoscopic hernia surgery can be
performed on an outpatient basis.
Incarcerated and strangulated hernias
require emergency surgery and
hospitalization. Laparoscopic surgery may
not be recommended for very large
Although there is no way to prevent
hernias due to a congenital weakness or
family history, you can help reduce your
risk for an inguinal hernia. Follow a
healthy diet that is high in fiber and
drink plenty of fluids to prevent
constipation, maintain a healthy weight
through diet and exercise, and avoid
cigarette smoking, which can
cause chronic coughs. (Oh dear!
Pretty sure smokers cough caused mine!!) If your job requires heavy
lifting, learn the proper way to lift and
wear a support garment.
Frenchay Hospital, Frenchay
Park Road Bristol, BS161LE
DAY CASE UNIT -
You are currently on the waiting list for
a hernia repair operation.
We have a slot available for you to be
held at Southmead Hospital.
Admission Time : 07.30AM
Ward : DAY WARD
On arrival at Southmead Hospital, please
report to MAIN ADMISSIONS, from there you
will be directed to the Day Surgery Unit.
You must stop eating 6 hours
before and drinking 3 hours prior to your
admission time. IF YOU EAT/DRINK
AFTER THESE TIMES YOUR OPERATION WILL
On the day of admission, please bring
dressing gown and slippers but leave any
valuables at home.
If you suffer from DIABETES or ASTHMA,
please inform me, when ringing to
confirm. If you are taking medicine to
control EPILEPSY or BLOOD PRESSURE, take
your normal medication in the morning
with a small sip of water.
PLEASE CONFIRM IMMEDIATELY
that the above arrangements are
convenient for you by telephoning me.
It is essential that you arrange for a
friend or relative to collect you from
hospital and to be at home when you
return and remain with you overnight.
Day Case Unit Co-ordinator
NORTH BRISTOL NHS TRUST.
SHEET FOLLOWING HERNIA REPAIR OPERATION
Following repair of your
inguinal hernia you should be able to go
home after a few hours. You should find
that there is a clear dressing over the
wound in your groin and you should have
been given painkillers to take with you.
On return home you should take the
painkillers as prescribed for the next
twenty four hours and after that you
should continue to take them if required.
You should not drive for at least twenty
four hours following surgery and not
until you are able to comfortably perform
an emergency stop. You will find that
your recovery is quicker if you resume
While the dressing is in place you may
shower but do not rub the dressing as it
will become detached. After seven days,
remove the dressing. There are no sutures
that need to be removed.
You may resume full activities including
heavy lifting one week after surgery. You
do not require an out patient appointment
but if you experience any problems
following your operation please telephone
**** ******* and an appointment will be
D M CONSULTANT SURGEON 22 October 2003
NORTH BRISTOL NHS TRUST. DAY
SURGERY UNIT, SOUTHMEAD HOSPITAL.
AND INFORMATION AFTER DAY SURGERY
FOLLOWING AN ANAESTHETIC:
Although you are being treated as a day
case patient, you will receive treatment
to the same high standard as elsewhere in
the hospital. We expect that you will go
home the same day, but if there have been
complications you may have to stay in
hospital. If you had a general
anaesthetic, please remember that
anaesthetic drugs stay in the body for
several hours - during this time you will
react more slowly, which means you are
more likely to have an accident. You
should have a responsible adult with you
for 24 hours after the operation and you
may need some days off work and help at
Remember that for at least
48 hours after the
l. You must not drive a car or any other
2. You should not cook, boil a kettle or
3. You should not drink alcohol or take
4. You may eat what you feel like - light
diet, nothing too greasy or spicy. Drink
plenty of fluids.
5. You should take things gently until
you feel fully recovered.
6. You should not take any important
legal or financial decisions, or sign any
We will tell you and give you written
advice on how to care for your wound. For
most operations there are booklets giving
information, such as when you can return
You need to have your dressings removed
in 7 days. Please arrange this with your
GP Practice Nurse.
Your stitches are dissolvable.
There are many different types of
painkillers available we have
selected those which we feel will be most
effective and safe for you. Please use
them to relieve pain resulting from
todays operation only. If you have
pain from other conditions, your GP or
Pharmacist will be able to advise you on
the best choice for that problem. Each
box should contain a patient information
leaflet, which you should read.
30 Tablets CO-CODAMOL 30/500
ONE or TWO to be taken every 4-6 hours
when required for pain. Do not take more
than 2 at any one time. Do not take more
than 8 in 24 hours. Do not take with any
other paracetamol products.
The active ingredients in Co-codamol
Tablets BP 30/500 are Codeine Phosphate
Ph Eur 30mg, and Paracetamol Ph Eur
Codeine Phosphate belongs to a group of
medicines known as opioid analgesics
which relieve pain. Paracetamol is a
non-opioid analgesic which relieves pain
and reduces fever.