Risks of Hernia Repair Surgery
Hernia surgery performed laparoscopically will generally mean fewer complications and shorter hospital stay. However, both open and laparoscopic hernia repair come with some risk. To minimize risk, we suggest that healthy patients address their hernia sooner rather than later. A planned hernia repair carries a mortality risk no greater than the background population. As the complexity of the repair increases, so do the risks.
Typical risks of a hernia surgery include:
- Reaction to anesthesia (local for open and general for laparoscopic)
- Acute surgical pain
- Infection at the incision site(s)
- Chronic pain, possibly due to nerve irritation or reaction to mesh – Learn more about chronic pain after hernia repair
- Potential for adhesion, intestinal blockage, bleeding, fluid build-up (seroma) and perforation of neighboring organs
It is important to note that’s many of the complications in the last bullet point above were due to a defective mesh that was recalled in 2010. This mesh is no longer on the market. Feel free to visit the FDA’s website to learn more about this recall.
One very important the thing to note about hernia surgery is that a planned surgery is almost always less risky than emergency surgery for a strangulated hernia. Because of an interrupted blood flow to the organ during strangulation, it is possible that a strangulated hernia can cause part of the small intestine tissue to die. This will require the removal or resection of the affected part of the intestine. When this occurs, the risks of surgery increase drastically.