Hernia surgery prior to pregnancy?

Hernia Discussion Forums Hernia Discussion Hernia surgery prior to pregnancy?

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    • #10613
      isabela89
      Member

      I was wondering if having hernia surgery impairs your ability to get pregnant one day. I am a 25 year old female, who plans to get pregnant in the future. Any complications?

    • #12706
      JPaterso
      Member

      Hernia surgery prior to pregnancy?

      Hi Isabela,
      I am certainly no expert, however I can tell you about my experience. I was born with a left inguinal hernia and had it repaired, with a small mesh, at one month of age. I went on later in life to have two children, in my early 20’s with no problems getting pregnant or carrying either pregnancy to term. It was as if I never even had a hernia there. In fact, if my mother had not informed me about the hernia or repair, I would never have known, as there is no scar there or anything.

      Unfortunately, I did develop an umbilical hernia about 18 years after my last pregnancy. I’m not sure if that was related to the pregnancies, but more than likely it was. I have always been petite and I am 5’3″ so my guess is the pregnancy probably strained my abdominal wall. I also have other friends that have had various types of hernias repaired prior to pregnancy with no ill effects in getting pregnant or carrying the pregnancy to term. I hope that helps.

    • #12292
      drtowfigh
      Keymaster

      Hernia surgery prior to pregnancy?

      Very important question.

      My answer to you is not based on any scientific data, because there is none. But it is a very important topic that is a bit difficult to study.

      Short answer: most pregnancies have no problems after hernia surgery nor without hernia surgery.

      – in my practice, I do not recommend any hernia surgery unless you are symptomatic or it is growing larger, unless you have a femoral (low groin) hernia, which should be repaired regardless.

      – for inguinal (groin) hernia, repair prior to pregnancy has generally not caused any problems with pregnancy nor complicated the need for C-section. Pregnancy while still having an inguinal hernia is generally safe, with low risk of complications.

      – for umbilical or abdominal wall hernias, I do not recommend repair until after all pregnancies are done unless you are very symptomatic from the hernia. The chance of a complication during pregnancy (from having a hernia) is generally low. If you do have a very symptomatic hernia and it is a small one (2 cm), I recommend no mesh placement. However, if mesh is placed, there is a risk if localized pain as your belly enlarges.

      – need for immediate surgery while pregnant is generally safe and can be done without general anesthesia.

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