For the best results from surgery, it only makes sense to start with a healthy patient. Keep the following in mind before hernia repair surgery for a smoother recovery.
Cigarette smoking is the most significant risk factor for failure of hernia repair. Smoking damages collagen. Collagen is one of the critical structures in wound healing, and so smokers do not heal well. Also, every time a smoker coughs, the muscles pull on the repair and can tear out sutures. Dr. Brown advises patients to stop smoking for three months before surgery.
Obesity is also a significant risk factor for perioperative problems. The tissue planes are difficult to find. The nerves are harder to identify, and thus are at more risk for injury. Sites of bleeding are harder to find and stop. The operation takes significantly longer. Get your weight down to normal.
As discussed with cigarette smokers, coughing can tear sutures out. All pulmonary problems have to be treated before surgery.
Patients with chronic constipation have to strain to have a bowel movement; the muscles pull on the sutures and can disrupt the repair. Get your shit together and get your bowel movements regular and soft.
The same is true for men with a large prostate. Having to strain to empty the bladder pulls on the sutures and increases the risk of tearing the hernia repair apart. Consult with Dr. Brown or your Urologist if you can no longer shoot your urine stream across the room.
A malnourished patient is not going to heal.
Medications that thin the blood should be stopped before surgery to decrease the risk of bleeding. If you take medications that thin the blood, then talk with your primary doctor or Dr. Brown about when and how to stop those medications. Occasionally, the blood thinners should not be stopped because of the risk of a stroke or a heart attack. The operation can still be performed, but the chance for hemorrhage is increased. Medications that hinder healing (such as prednisone) should also be stopped before surgery.
Diabetes should be controlled before surgery.
You must stop most Weight loss medications for three weeks before surgery (blood pressure can fall during anesthesia).
Dr. Brown also strongly believes that Herbs help with healing and decreasing inflammation.
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