How to Avoid a Repeat Hernia Surgery

In many cases, surgery solves medical problems completely. For example, an appendectomy means you’ll never have appendicitis again, and a tonsillectomy means you never have to worry about tonsillitis again.
But hernia repairs don’t guarantee you won’t need another one in the future. In fact, if you’ve had one hernia, there’s a 3-20% chance you’ll have another at some point.
You can avoid that scenario by doing your research and trusting only the most experienced, board-certified surgeon to repair your hernia in the first place. In and around Katy and Houston, Texas, that means Buckminster Farrow, MD. Dr. Farrow is an award-winning, highly experienced, published surgeon who specializes in hernia repair.
However, even the best surgeon can’t guarantee you won’t have another hernia if you don’t take the following steps to avoid a repeat occurrence.



Things you can do to avoid repeat hernia surgery

The reason you had a hernia in the first place was that you had weakened tissue that couldn’t withstand the pressure of certain conditions or circumstances.

Of course, not all hernias can be avoided; some occur due to injury, age, congenital conditions, or previous surgeries. But many hernia causes can be controlled, and addressing these issues are critical if you want to avoid another hernia in the future. If any of the following applies to you, resolving it can reduce your chances of a recurring hernia.

If you’re obese — lose weight

When you’re carrying around too much weight, it adds excess pressure to your abdomen and stresses your muscles and connective tissues, leaving you vulnerable to a hernia. That’s why pregnant women are more vulnerable to hernias. But delivering the baby aptly addresses the problem, as does losing weight if you’re obese.

If you lift heavy objects — learn proper technique

Improper lifting technique is one of the most common causes of hiatal hernias. Bending at your knees rather than your waist, using your legs muscles, and keeping your back straight when lifting heavy items can help you avoid a hernia.

Better yet, use a hand truck or enlist a friend to help move large items, especially if you’ve already had a hernia. 

If you smoke — quit

Smoking wreaks havoc throughout your entire body, including your ability to heal properly from hernia surgery. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, which means that smoking chokes off your blood supply and the essential oxygen and nutrients needed for healing and cell repair.

Smoking also leads to respiratory problems such as bronchitis, emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease — all of which lead to chronic coughing, a huge contributor to hernias.

If you have diabetes — keep it controlled

Studies show that diabetes can increase the chances you’ll have a second hernia after you’ve had one repaired — especially if you had an incisional hernia, the type that occurs at a previous surgical site. Keeping your blood sugar under control can help you avoid postoperative complications and recurrent hernias.

If your core is weak — strengthen it

Your core muscles — the ones in your trunk, pelvis, and abdominal area — are the main support system for your groin and abdomen, which are the most common sites of hernias.

Strengthening your core by performing planks and other targeted exercises can help you avoid a future hernia. Here are a few core exercises you may need to work into your daily routine, but make sure you check with Dr. Farrow first before trying any of them. 

If you had hernia repair surgery — make sure you heal properly

Like all surgical procedures, hernia repair requires a certain amount of downtime so your body can heal properly. Dr. Farrow uses a minimally invasive laparoscopic technique whenever possible, so your recovery time after hernia repair is reduced, but if you don’t follow our post-op instructions, you can set yourself up for a hernia recurrence.

To learn more about hernia repair and how to make sure you never need it again, schedule an appointment online, or call our friendly staff today.