1. Am I a candidate for laparoscopic surgery?
Because we specialize in advanced laparoscopic surgery, the overwhelming majority of patients we encounter are candidates and are able to undergo laparoscopic surgery. For inguinal hernias, patients who may not be candidates include those with extremely large hernias occupying most of the scrotum, and those who have had prior abdominal operations in their lower part of the abdomen. Given Dr. Zare's experience, we are often successful in performing laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair even in some of these patients. Dr. Zare will evaluate your candidacy during your consultation. By choosing a surgeon specialized in minimally invasive surgery, you will increase your chances of being offered a minimally invasive surgery, and minimize the occurrence of conversion during surgery from a planned laparoscopic repair to an open repair.
2. How long does it take to perform laparoscopic hernia surgery?
For inguinal and umbilical (belly button) hernia surgery, your operation may take between 25 minutes to one hour. For incisional and hiatal hernia repairs, depending on the size of the hernia and the extent of inta-abdominal scar tissue, surgery may take between one to two hours.
3. Where is the procedure performed?
Most inguinal, sports, umbilical, and incisional hernia repairs are performed in outpatient surgery centers. These centers are equipped with the latest state-of-the-art laparoscopic equipments, high definition optical towers, and highly trained staff. Due to their relatively smaller size compared to large hospitals, patients receive a much more personalized care. Also, the process of admission and discharge is made much more efficient. We are affiliated with a number of facilities within less than one mile from our office.
Hiatal hernias are performed at the two affiliated hospitals: Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, and El Camino Hospital in Mountain View. These are tertiary care centers equipped with the latest technological requirements and highly trained staff, and provide complete multi-disciplinary service. Both hospital have received top ranking from various rating agencies and insurance carriers. (see hospital affiliation page for more details)
4. How long after surgery will I be able to leave the surgery center?
Most inguinal, sports, umbilical, and incisional hernia patients leave the center within one hour after completion of surgery.
Hiatal hernia patient leave the hospital the day after surgery.
5. Can I drive myself home after surgery?
No. Because of anesthetic and pain medications, you will not be able to drive immediately after surgery.
6. What is the typical recovery time after surgery?
Because laparoscopic surgery is minimally invasive to your body, on the day of surgery you will be able to return to your normal daily activities such as getting in and out of the bed, walking, going to the bathroom, climbing stairs, etc.
If you undergo laparoscopic inguinal and sports hernia surgery, you will be generally able to stop your pain medications within 1-2 days. Many patients do not require any pain medications at all. You will likely return to work within 2-4 days and you will be allowed full unrestricted resumption of activities including heavy lifting and contact sports within ten days.
If you undergo umbilical, or laparoscopic incisional or hiatal hernia repairs, you will likely be able to stop your pain medications within one week and return to work within 1-2 weeks. You will be allowed full unrestricted resumption of activities including heavy lifting and contact sports within 6 to 8 weeks.
If you undergo open inguinal hernia repair you will be generally able to stop your pain medications within one week and return to work within one week. You will be allowed full unrestricted resumption of activities including heavy lifting and contact sports within 6 to 8 weeks.
7. Can I shower or bathe after surgery?
You need to keep the surgical sites clean and dry for the first two days after surgery. Your surgical sites will be covered with water tight dressing. You may take a light shower without wetting the dressings but bathing is not advised. After two days, you may remove the bandages, shower, and expose the sites to water and soap. Within two weeks of surgery and after you complete you office visit with Dr. Zaré, you will be able to resume bathing.
8. Can I remove my bandages after surgery?
Yes. After 48 hours, you should remove you bandages but leave the steri strips underneath attached to the skin until your first office visit.