How do I get referred for treatment?
I AM registered with a GP
Please ask your GP to telephone, send a letter, or a fax to:
The University Hernia Clinic
St. Luke’s Hospital
14 Fitzroy Square
London W1T 6AH
Please also, ask your GP to give an account of your general health and details of any relevant past medical history, current treatments and medications. This will help us in our pre-operative assessment of you.
I am NOT registered with a GP
If, for any reason, you are not registered with a GP, you may contact us directly yourself by any of the methods mentioned above.
How long will I have to wait?
Following your referral, you will be seen by the Consultant Surgeon, usually within one week. Your general health status and fitness to undergo a general anaesthetic will be assessed, in conjunction with the information you provide. Any questions or queries which you may have will be answered at this time. If a decision is made to proceed to operative repair, this will usually take place within the following two weeks, or at another time that is mutually convenient to you and the surgeon.
You will be given a comprehensive information pack about The University Hernia Clinic.
What is the 'mesh plug' technique?
This is a procedure which has been developed in the USA and pioneered in the UK at The University Hernia Clinic. A small cut is made directly over the site of the lump in the groin and shaped pieces of fine, sterile mesh are inserted. These remain inside the body permanently, to 'reinforce' the weakened area. The wound is then closed. No permanent internal stitches are used which means no 'tension' problems occur (which can result in discomfort from internal pulling and damage to tissues). Recovery is usually rapid. Please refer to The 'mesh plug' repair technique' under the 'Repairing your hernia' section of this site for further detailed information.
Should I have a general or a local anaesthetic?
The University Hernia Clinic recommends a general anaesthetic for this operation in the interest of reducing patient anxiety. Few people now experience any nausea or sickness following this type of anaesthesia. However, if a local anaesthetic is preferred, the area to be operated on can be completely numb for the entire duration of the operation. This is usually supplemented with a sedative to help reduce patient anxiety.
Post-operative pain relief is given as required, both in the immediate recovery period and for 2-3 days thereafter. Please refer to 'What to expect following my hernia repair' under the 'Repairing your hernia' section of this site for further detailed information.
Should I stay overnight?
We recommend that you stay overnight following your operation, as research suggests that patients can be apprehensive about undergoing hernia repair on a day case basis.1 In addition, an overnight stay ensures that you are given optimised post-operative care and correct analgesia. Our senior nursing staff will look after you and will monitor your recovery to make sure that you are well enough to travel home the next day. They will be able to alleviate any anxieties you may have following surgery.
The University Hernia Clinic provides very comfortable accommodation, with TV and many other facilities. We are able also to cater for special dietary requirements.
If you prefer day case surgery then this requirement will, of course, be met (as long as this is medically advisable).
Jarrett PEM, Day case inguinal hernia repair – analysis of five years experience.
First European Congress on Ambulatory Surgery. Brussels 1991.)
What will happen when I am discharged?
After being discharged from The University Hernia Clinic, by the Consultant Surgeon, you will receive:
- Appropriate analgesia
- A post-operative ‘recovery’ leaflet (as part of the information pack)
- Details of the University Hernia Clinic 24-hour Post-operative Helpline
- A follow up appointment, usually for 7-10 days later
- A letter for you and your GP detailing the operative procedure you have undergone.
When can I expect to get back to normal?
General advice can differ following hernia repair. Although some clinics claim that you can continue as normal, within hours of surgery, we consider this an unrealistic expectation.
We recommend that you should consider taking time to rest for one or even two weeks following surgery, particularly if you have a very active or strenuous lifestyle. Rules are not rigid, however. You can walk around and do whatever you feel comfortable doing, but heavy lifting (8-10 kilograms plus) or long drives, for example, are not recommended. The wound will take at least 6-8 weeks to heal fully, during which time some extra care should be taken not to over-exert yourself, or do too much. Please refer to 'Recovering from your hernia repair' under the 'Repairing your hernia' section of this site for further detailed information.