How Painful Is Hernia Surgery?

How Painful Is Hernia Surgery?

A hernia happens when an organ or tissue presses through a weak spot in a fascia (muscle or tissue). A hernia is usually treated with surgery. Hernia surgeries are among the most performed surgical procedures these days. Abdominal wall hernias may affect people of all ages, including about 4% of those people over age 45. However, a question that is often asked is whether hernia surgery is painful. Due to advanced facilities, robotics, and anesthesia, hernia surgery is generally safe nowadays. Continue reading to know more about hernia surgery, its procedure, and how to recover after surgery.

What Is Hernia?

A hernia is a medical condition that arises when an internal organ protrudes through a weak spot in the muscle. The major types of hernia that affect the human body include - inguinal hernia (inner groin), incisional hernia (due to incision), umbilical hernia (belly button), and hiatal hernia (stomach).

Types of Hernia

1. Inguinal Hernia

An inguinal hernia is a filling of substance in the abdomen through a weak area in the lower abdominal wall. Inguinal hernias can occur on either of two sides of the pubic area through the lower abdominal wall.

2. Incisional Hernia

An incisional hernia occurs in the abdomen at the site of prior surgery. These can appear weeks, months, or even years after surgery and can vary in size from small to very large.

3. Umbilical Hernia

An umbilical hernia occurs near the belly button. This type of hernia arises in infants immediately after birth and can be resolved by age three or four.

4. Hiatal Hernia

Hiatal hernia is a type of hernia that occurs when the upper portion of the stomach swells up through the diaphragm into the chest cavity.

See Also: Open Inguinal Hernia Repair: Why Do You Need It?

Treatment Options for Abdominal Hernia

If not treated on time, the hernia can create life-threatening complications. Surgery is the only treatment option for Hernia. The different surgical treatment options for an abdominal hernia include:

  • Open surgery
  • Laparoscopic treatment
  • Reconstruction surgery
  • Mesh implants

1. Hernia Surgery

An abdominal wall repair is a common form of hernia surgery. Inguinal hernia surgery, which is common in the United States, accounts for 75% of all abdominal wall hernias. According to a study, more than 20 million patients worldwide go through hernia surgery.

The lifetime risk of developing an inguinal hernia is 27-43% for men and 3-6% for women. Despite all the medical advancements, 11% of all patients suffer from a recurrence and 10-12% from chronic pain following primary inguinal hernia repair.

The prevalence of hernia surgery makes it especially important for people to be aware of their options—procedure, costs, anesthesia, and postoperative pain relief.

2. Hernia Surgery Cost

According to research studies, depending upon the type of hernia surgery, laparoscopic or other, and if the patient is secured with medical insurance, the estimated cost of hernia surgery ranges from $3,900 to $12,500. The average cost for a procedure that requires a minimum overnight stay in the medical facility is $11,500. If the procedure happens on the same day, the cost is $6,400.

3. Hernia Surgery Procedure

Usually, doctors in hospitals or experts in surgery centers can remove a hernia from the body in one or two days. There are two major procedures for hernia repair:

4. Open Surgery

In open surgery, patients receive general anesthesia before the surgery. The surgeon makes an incision into the groin to open the skin. They’ll push the hernia back into place or remove it. After that, they’ll close the weak area of the muscle with stitches.

5. Laparoscopy

Laparoscopy is a surgical procedure that allows a surgeon to approach the internal content of the abdomen and pelvis without making a large incision on the skin. A thin, telescope-like instrument is inserted through a small incision at the umbilicus, and the abdomen is inflated with carbon dioxide to create space for the doctor. The surgeon makes a small cut and inserts a tube with a camera to check the hernia.

Reconstruction surgery and mesh implants are done after open surgery and laparoscopy to strengthen the abdominal wall after the hernia is removed.

See Also: Open Surgery vs. Laparoscopic Surgery: Which Is the Best Procedure?

Recovery after Hernia Surgery

For a few days after hernia repair surgery, you may suffer mild to severe pain. Most patients feel better within a couple of days of surgery and noticeably improve by seven days. For a few weeks following surgery, you may experience bruising, tugging, or slight twinges in the affected area when moving.

To ensure a safe and quick recovery, we recommend these guidelines: 

  • Get plenty of sleep and rest.
  • Avoid strenuous activities, such as running or biking.
  • Walk every day.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects.
  • Avoid sexual intercourse until your doctor gives you approval.
  • Take medications exactly as prescribed. 

Schedule and maintain your follow-up appointment one to two weeks after surgery. 

See Also: How Long Does Hernia Surgery Take?


A hernia is a medical condition that is treatable if the problem is detected. Results of hernia surgery before and after have always been different. Post-surgery pain is common but reduces with time. Consult your doctor before choosing the best hernia surgery option for yourself, and follow all the instructions after surgery to make a quick and healthy recovery.

If you are looking for hernia surgery treatment near you in Anchorage, AK, contact us today. At Far North Surgery, we have great facilities and a qualified, award-winning team. Our chief doctor, Dr. Madhu Prasad, is a renowned Oncologist and recipient of the Best of Anchorage Awards for Cancer Treatment. He and his team will take full care of you from your surgery till your recovery.

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