A hernia occurs when an internal body part, such as an organ or fatty tissue, pushes through a weak spot in the surrounding muscle or tissue wall. The most common types of hernias are inguinal hernias, which occur in the groin area, and abdominal hernias can occur in different areas of the abdomen. Hernia can be caused by various factors, including ageing, pregnancy, obesity, chronic coughing, and prior surgery. Abdominal hernias may not always cause symptoms, but they can be painful and require surgical repair to prevent complications. If a hernia becomes painful, swollen, or larger over time, surgery may be necessary to repair the hernia and prevent complications such as obstruction or strangulation of the affected tissue.
As of March 2023, there are 7. 21 million patients on the NHS waiting list, With approximately 300 000 requiring hernia surgery. The average waiting time for hernia surgery in England is currently 13 weeks, but around 10% need to wait for over 52 weeks to access general surgical treatment. The NHS is facing a significant backlog of patients waiting for surgery, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has led to a reduction in the number of elective surgeries being performed, as hospitals have had to prioritize urgent and emergency care. As a result, many patients have had to wait longer for surgery than they would have done in normal times. The NHS is working to reduce the backlog of patients waiting for surgery. However, it is likely to take some time before waiting times return to normal levels.
Understanding Abdominal Hernias and the Importance of Surgery
An abdominal hernia occurs when an organ or tissue protrudes through a weakened area in the abdominal muscle wall. While some hernias are asymptomatic and go unnoticed, most patients experience a visible bulge that becomes more apparent when standing or pushing, along with pain, weakness, or pressure in the affected area. In men, the most common type of abdominal hernia is the inguinal hernia, while women may experience an abdominal hernia after childbirth, known as diastasis recti.
Aside from pain or bulge, hernias can lead to serious complications such as intestinal trapping or strangulation. Thus, surgery is highly recommended to avoid these risks.
Types of Hernia Surgery: Open and Laparoscopic Approaches
Most people with inguinal hernias require surgical repair to treat the hernia. There are several types of hernia surgeries available, including open and laparoscopic approaches. The type of surgery recommended depends on factors such as the hernia size, the patient’s age, health, and medical history.
Open hernia surgery typically involves the use of a mesh to reinforce the abdominal wall where the hernia occurred. In some cases, stitches may be used instead of mesh. Patients usually receive local anaesthesia and a sedative for this procedure, although general anaesthesia or a spinal block may be given in some cases.
In minimally invasive (laparoscopic) hernia surgery, the surgeon makes a few small incisions in the lower abdomen and uses special tools to view and repair the hernia. A mesh is also used to strengthen the abdominal wall. Laparoscopic surgery is usually performed under general anaesthesia, and patients may have a shorter recovery time than with open surgery. The surgery typically lasts around 45 minutes.
Recovery and Activity Guidelines Following Hernia Repair Surgery
After inguinal or ventral hernia repair surgery, there are generally no special diet restrictions required. The surgical tapes used to secure the incision will begin to peel up on their own 7-10 days after the surgery. It is safe for patients to peel them the rest of the way off themselves if they wish.
Patients are typically encouraged to return to normal activities as soon as possible, including walking, climbing stairs, lifting, sexual intercourse, mowing the lawn, or exercising, as long as it does not cause pain. This can aid in the patient’s recovery. However, if the pain is experienced, it is important to avoid such activities. It is normal to feel easily fatigued or “washed out” for a week or two following the surgery, which may put some limitations on activity.
Hospital Stay and Post-Operative Care for Hernia Surgeries
Most hernia surgeries can be performed on an outpatient basis or require only one day of admission to the hospital. However, in cases where a patient has a complicated abdominal hernia, a longer hospital stay may be necessary for proper post-operative care and monitoring. It is important for patients to follow their surgeon’s recommendations regarding post-operative care, which may include rest and limited activity to promote proper healing.
Reasons why patients choose Spain for hernia surgery
Hernia surgery is a common procedure worldwide, and many people in the UK choose to undergo this surgery abroad for a variety of reasons. For example, Spain is known for its advanced medical facilities and highly skilled medical professionals, which makes it an attractive destination for those seeking high-quality medical care. Additionally, the cost of hernia surgery in Spain can be significantly lower than in other countries, which can be especially beneficial for those without insurance or those seeking affordable medical care. The waiting times for hernia surgery in Spain are also generally shorter than in other countries, which can be important for patients who need surgery as soon as possible. Finally, many patients appreciate the opportunity to combine their medical treatment with a vacation in Spain, taking advantage of the country’s rich culture, history, and natural beauty. All of these factors make Spain a popular choice for hernia surgery among patients from around the world.
Meet Dr. Luis Tallon: An Experienced Surgeon in Abdominal Hernia and Complex Abdominal Wall Reconstruction.
Dr. Luis Tallon is an experienced surgeon of abdominal hernia and complex abdominal wall reconstruction. He is the Head of the Abdominal Wall Surgery Department at University Hospital Virgen del Rocio since 2019. Dr. Tallon is also the Head of the Outpatient Ambulatory Surgery Center at this University Hospital. Since January 2023 also works as Head of the International Program of Abdominal Wall Surgery at QuironSalud Hospital (Marbella). He has a deep experience in open and laparoscopic approaches. Since 2021 has been accredited as a robotic surgeon for abdominal surgery with the Da Vinci System, performing more than 150 robotic procedures.
Dr. Tallon has more than 15 years of experience in abdominal wall surgery. Since 2013 has specialized in this field. He has performed more than 8.000 operations related to the abdominal hernia.
Dr. Tallon is an Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Seville and takes part on the Board of the Spanish chapter of Abdominal Wall and Ambulatory Surgery of the Spanish Association of Surgeons. Regarding the international research registry, Dr. Tallon has published 66 high-quality scientific papers.
Marbella Hospital – a combination of healthcare and tourism
Quirónsalud Marbella Hospital has modern and comfortable facilities aimed at guaranteeing the highest level of well-being to patients and their relatives, combining personalized care and the high quality of its medical service with the support of the latest technology. Quirónsalud Marbella is located in the heart of the Costa del Sol, a main tourist resort, which provides the project with an international dimension as it receives visitors from all over the world. Situated right in front of the beach and next to the fishing port of Marbella, most rooms are facing south and overlooking the sea, turning it into a centre with unique characteristics on the Costa del Sol.