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Epigastric Hernia Repair in Adults

An epigastric hernia develops when fat juts out through a weakness in the abdominal wall between the umbilicus and sternum. The result is lump or hernia, which can be painful, particularly if the fat is pinched by the wall of the abdomen.

 

Treatment

The most common and popular treatment for a hernia is surgery. An operation is the quickest way to repair a hernia, particularly if the bulge is growing bigger. Timely surgery also preempts any serious complications that can accompany inguinal hernia. Sometimes, the hernia can be controlled with a padded belt called a truss. However, a hernia will not go away without surgery. 

Epigastric Hernia surgery can involve any anesthetic techniques depending on the situation. The surgeon makes an incision in the abdomen and simply removes the ‘hernia sac’. The muscle layer is strengthened with sutures. A synthetic mesh will also be used to fortify the weak spot. The operation usually lasts for about three-quarters of an hour. 

Surgical Procedure

The operation to repair an epigastric hernia involves general anesthesia and is usually over in about half an hour. The surgeon makes a cut on the hernia and frees the ‘hernial sac’. The surgeon will either remove the fat tissue or push it back. If tissues from the abdomen are also pushing through, they are placed back within the abdomen. The weak spot through which the fat pushed through to create the hernia is closed with stitches. For larger hernias, the weak spot is reinforced with a synthetic mesh.

 

Complications

General side effects that may afflict the patient are the same as those after other hernia fixing surgeries. More serious complications may include:

  • Development of a lump at the surgery site
  • Injuries to nearby abdominal structures

Patients are generally discharged the same day. Convalescence may take between two to four weeks depending on the extent of surgery, after which you can resume normal activities. Check with the surgeon before the operation about how much you can exercise. For the first few days, increasing your walking is recommended. Occasionally the hernia can recur