How do I know I have a hernia?
The common areas where hernias form is in the groin (inguinal), belly button (umbilical) and incisional (site of previous surgery).
It is usually easy to feel a hernia. You may notice a bulge under the skin. You may feel pain when you lift heavy objects, cough or strain. Sometimes you feel a tearing pain while lifting and notice a bulge. There may be a squishing feeling when you push on the bulge. The pain may be sharp and occasional or a dull ache that gets worse throughout the day.
Some people are born with a hernia or defect while some develop it over time.
What should I do?
If you suspect you have a hernia, see your GP for an examination and to discuss the best course of treatment.
If you require an operation, talk to your GP about which specialist surgeons they recommend. You may mention that you have heard of the Hernia Clinic of Brisbane and would be comfortable with a referral to us.
What happens at the hernia clinic?
Once you have your referral, call the clinic or doctor's rooms for a consultation.
At the consultation, the surgeon will ask you for some information about yourself and will examine you. You may be required to have further tests (such as X rays, scans or blood tests) before you can book time for surgery.
Once everything the surgeon requires is in order, your surgery proceeds.
At the Hernia Clinic of Brisbane, we operate with other expert medical professionals at some of Queensland's most advanced, state-of-the-art hospitals and facilities.
Surgery is generally complication-free. Most times it requires a short general anaesthetic, and patients are in and out within one day.
What happens after surgery?
Most patients are discharged a few hours after the surgery has finished.
We recommend no driving for the first five to seven days, and certainly don’t drive while taking pain medication. You will be given a prescription for pain medication. Some patients report only needing to use extra-strength paracetamol for several days.
Within weeks, most patients generally resume their normal lifestyles, go back to work and continue to enjoy appropriate physical activities.
You will usually have a waterproof surgical dressing over the wound site. You may remove this dressing 5-7 days after your operation. There may also be paper tapes securing the wound together. Leave these until they fall off.
Stitches are almost always buried under the skin and these will automatically dissolve. You may be able to feel stitches at the end of your excision; they may feel like fishing line. This is perfectly normal but be sure not to pull on these.
Bruising occurs more often than not but will pass over a week or two.
The next few weeks ...
During the 4 to 6 weeks after surgery, it is normal to feel twinges and odd sensations.
Recovering at home may take a number of weeks so it is suggested you discuss with your doctor the appropriate level of exercise that you may undertake.
Looking after your diet to prevent constipation and taking any medication your doctor has recommended will also help your recovery and general comfort..
Remember – you’ve had an operation. Be gentle on yourself and don’t be surprised if it takes some time for your energy levels to get back to normal.
Your doctor will generally see you for your post-op appointment2-4 weeks after your procedure.