Health A-Z

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Most hernias are diagnosed during an office visit with your doctor. Surgery is planned for a later time, at your convenience.

Your doctor will review your medical history and examine you. If there is any chance you might be pregnant, inform your doctor before surgery. Your doctor may order certain tests to make sure that you can undergo surgery safely. These tests may include blood tests or an electrocardiogram (EKG).

About one week before your hernia repair, your doctor may ask you to stop taking aspirin and other medications that could increase the risk of bleeding. You will be asked not to eat or drink anything beginning the night before surgery (except medicines). This will reduce the risk of vomiting during surgery.

On the day of your surgery, you should wear loose-fitting clothing. Ask your doctor if you should take your regular medications with a sip of water. You also should arrange for someone to drive you home after the surgery.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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