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Bruce E. Freedman, M.D., F.A.C.S.
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I have an inguinal hernia. It doesn't hurt and I'm very active. Do I need to have this repaired?
Not really. Your risk of developing a strangulated hernia requiring emergent surgery is extremely small. However, hernias will not go away and evetually may cause discomfort, so there is nothing wrong with getting it fixed electively at your convience


I underwent surgery for colon cancer and developed a large, symptomatic incisional hernia. After my surgery, I developed a bad wound infection as well. I would like to have this repaired but I'm afraid of getting another wound infection.
The problem with previous abdominal infections is that patients are much more likely to develope subsequent infections following surgery(up to a 30% increase) This is a bigger problem in hernia repairs where mesh needs to be placed. The usual mesh we use is a synthetic mesh and not a good option in patients with previous infections. If you get a recurrent infection when a synthetic mesh has been placed,that mesh will have to be removed in the majority of cases. A better repair alternative for reinforcement is a biologic material. Porcine dermis(pig skin) seems to work the best in both prevention of reoccurrences and being able to weather an infection without removal.


What is a Hernia?
A hernia is the protrusion of an organ or the fascia of an organ through the wall of the cavity that normally contains it.

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