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Hernia repair surgery

Surgical treatment for hernia pain

A hernia can limit your favorite physical activities and interfere with work responsibilities. Your health care provider may recommend hernia repair surgery if your hernia causes pain and medications and lifestyle changes don’t offer relief.

Your hernia surgery team will put your goals at the center to deliver the best approach for your unique health needs. At Allina Health, you’ll get expert care from a connected team focused on stopping the hernia pain and improving your quality of life.

Find a hernia surgeon near you to schedule a consultation.

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Hernia treatment built around you

Whether it’s playing with your kids or getting back to the gym, our experienced hernia surgeons can help you get back to your routine with less discomfort.

Our patient-centered approach focuses on:

  • reducing complications from hernia surgery and other pre-existing conditions
  • easing discomfort and use of opioid medications
  • ensuring a fast and complete hernia surgery recovery.

What is hernia surgery?

Hernia surgery generally involves repairing a hole in the groin or the abdominal wall. A hernia generally occurs where a part of the abdominal wall or groin weakens. The lining of the muscle wall pushes through the opening and forms a hernia sac.

Organs, such as a loop of the intestine, can slip from their natural positions and fall into the newly formed sac. A hernia repair may involve returning the bowel into the abdomen and fixing the weakness in the abdominal or groin muscle wall.

Common hernias include:

  • Inguinal hernias develop near the natural openings in your groin area.
  • Femoral hernias occur just below inguinal hernias, where the femoral artery in your leg passes into your femoral canal.
  • Umbilical and ventral hernias develop at or above your belly button or occur naturally.

Advanced hernia treatment

Allina Health hernia repair surgeons have specialized training and experience using the best possible surgical technology. We can help you treat routine and complex hernia types, including:

  • robotic surgery for hernia repair
  • abdominal (ventral) hernias
  • hiatal (diaphragm) hernias
  • incisional hernias
  • inigual or femoral groin hernias (sports hernias)
  • stomach and upper abdomen (epigastric) hernias
  • sub-xiphoid hernias (after open-heart surgery)
  • diaphragmatic hernias (the muscle separating the chest from the abdomen)
  • Umbilical (bellybutton), epigastric or ventral hernias
  • flank hernias.

When to call your health care provider

Call your health care provider if you have:  

  • a temperature of 101 F or higher  
  • increased pain or tenderness that can’t be relieved with rest or medication 
  • signs of infection at your incision site: pain, swelling, redness, odor, warmth or a green or yellow discharge  
  • problems breathing  
  • nausea (upset stomach) or vomiting (throwing up) that won’t stop  
  • extreme fatigue
  • hives (itchy, raised, red rash)  

Contact your health care provider with any questions or concerns.

Exceptional hernia care by an experienced team

We’ll guide your care every step of the way, from your first hernia repair surgery consultation to surgery and through recovery. You and your primary care provider will receive detailed, ongoing communication to keep everyone on the same page. 

Your expert team uses the latest surgical technology and meets regularly to ensure you get the best possible care and outcomes. We study internal clinical data and peer-reviewed research to advance and improve the field of hernia surgery.

Your connected hernia surgery care team may include:

  • your care circle (family, friends and others close to you) 
  • a hernia surgeon and doctor's assistant
  • a nurse navigator to guide your care
  • a social worker and care manager
  • physical and occupational therapists
  • smoking cessation specialist to help you avoid tobacco-related complications
  • a weight management team focused on healthy weight loss.

Before hernia repair surgery

Your safety is our priority. Your expert hernia surgery team works closely with referring health care providers. We closely manage patient-specific risk factors and pre-existing conditions to ensure you’re ready for hernia surgery. 

Tell your health care provider if you:

  • are pregnant
  • have a latex allergy
  • have diabetes
  • take blood-thinner medicine.   

After hernia repair surgery

Please see your after-visit summary for care instructions during your hernia repair surgery recovery. Your care team will answer any questions you have after your hospital stay.

This will help your hernia repair care team create a plan to ensure you have the right care and support to help manage your health after leaving the hospital.

Food and beverages  

  • Eat well-balanced meals.
  • Drink more fluids.  
  • Avoid alcohol while taking prescription medicine for hernia pain.

Pain relief  

Pain or discomfort after hernia surgery is normal. Your compassionate care team will help you manage hernia pain after the procedure. Follow your health care provider’s directions for medications and using ice.

Follow-up appointment

Please keep all follow-up appointments with your health care provider or specialist, even if you are feeling well.

Activities after hernia surgery

You can return to most of your everyday activities that don’t lead to physical exhaustion.

  • Your health care provider will tell you when it’s OK for you to shower, drive, return to work and have sex.  
  • Walk short distances many times each day. Increase the distance as you are able.  
  • Alternate rest and activity.  
  • Do not cross your legs while you sit. This helps keep your blood moving (circulating) to prevent blood clots.  
  • Change slowly from a lying or sitting position to a standing position.  

Avoid tobacco and secondhand smoke. Both can slow your recovery.

Insurance coverage and costs

Contact your health insurance provider about medical coverage and get a price estimate before scheduling hernia repair surgery. You will pay any deductible amounts and charges your policy doesn’t cover.

Reviewed by: Paul D. Scott, MD

First published: 1/31/2022
Last reviewed: 1/31/2022