Yes, there is a possibility of a hernia recurrence. A hernia can affect both men and women of any age including children. A hernia is a situation when a bulge comes out into the layers below the skin most commonly seen in the abdomen or the groin region. Although a hernia can be treated with a surgery, the biggest complication remains even after the surgery. Yes, a hernia can return after it is repaired and it is called a ‘recurrent’ a hernia. It can happen to every surgeon. Recurrent hernias are formed after the successful surgery of a primary hernia. It can happen at any point in time, maybe within few days or weeks after the first surgery or after many years. Although a patient cannot affect the risk of developing a first-time hernia, however, certain precautions can be taken to minimize the chance of developing a recurrent hernia.
The most common risk factors for developing a recurrent hernia after a primary repair include the following:
- Too much activity after the surgery
- Excessive smoking
- Collagen disorders
- Open hernia surgery under local anesthesia
- Chronic steroid use
- A chronic cough
- Presence of a sliding hernia
- Use of insufficient surgical technique such as improper mesh choice, lack of mesh overlap or lack of proper mesh fixation
- The surgical inexperience of the initial surgeon
- No mesh is used for initial repair
- Initial mesh used is not fixed to muscle properly
It is very important to find an experienced surgeon who performs a high volume of hernia surgeries to reduce the chance of developing a recurrent hernia. A laparoscopic hernia operation is the best way to fix a recurrent hernia. The reason is that the muscles around a hernia are weak and therefore the muscles tore after an attempted repair. By performing the laparoscopic technique, a larger piece of mesh can be placed to repair all the weakened muscles. Even if the original surgery was done using the open method, laparoscopic surgery can be performed easily and by avoiding the previous scar tissue. This remains a fact that complications after recurrent hernia surgeries are more common. Therefore, it is absolutely mandatory to fix the primary hernia surgery the correct way to minimize the chances of complications as much as possible for the recurrent repair.