Medical Devices

Information for Patients

Recommendations for patients considering hernia repair:

All medical devices and procedures carry certain benefits and risks. You should discuss your situation with your surgeon to determine your best option for hernia repair, including non-surgical and surgical options.

When discussing your options for hernia repair with your doctor, some questions you should ask include:

Before Surgery:

  • What type of hernia do I have?
  • What treatment options do you recommend for my hernia?
  • What are the nonsurgical and surgical treatment options?
  • What types of things should I consider in the decision to have surgery now or to wait?
  • Why are you recommending a particular treatment option over another?
  • What are the risks and side effects of this surgery?
  • What is your experience with the recommended surgery?
  • What is the anticipated outcome?
  • What are my options for anesthesia?
  • Will my surgery require a hospital stay?
  • What medications should I stop taking before my operation and what medications may I need to take the day of my operation?
  • Is there anything I should do to prepare for my operation?
  • How long will the surgery take?
  • How will I feel after surgery?
  • Will I need pain medication?
  • How much time should I allow for recovery?
  • What kind of incision will I have?
  • What is the chance my hernia will recur?
  • Will my medical insurance cover all charges from you and the hospital?

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After Surgery:

  • How should I care for my incision after surgery?
  • When should I see you for follow-up care after surgery?
  • What should I watch out for after my operation and when do I need to call you?
  • When will I be able to return to my normal activities or to work? Can I drive?

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Some questions you should ask your surgeon about surgical mesh for hernia repair include:

  • What is mesh?
  • What is the mesh you will be using made of?
  • What is the name of the mesh you will be using?
  • In my case, is it possible to repair the hernia without mesh and if so, what is the expected risk/benefit.
  • In my case, if you repair the hernia with mesh, what is the expected risk/benefit?
  • Is there patient information that comes with the mesh product and if so, how can I obtain it?
  • What is the risk for hernia recurrence? Pain? Infection? Other complications? Do these risks change depending on the type of mesh that you use?
  • How does the operative approach you are recommending (e.g. open repair versus laparoscopic repair) affect how the mesh will be used?
  • In the future if I require a repeat operation, what information should I tell my health care providers regarding the mesh that was used and where it was placed?
  • Will the mesh show up or interfere with imaging tests such as X-rays, MRIs, CT scans?
  • What is your rate of hernia recurrence with patients like me? With mesh, without mesh?

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Page Last Updated: 08/20/2013
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