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Inguinal (Groin hernia): Most common type of hernia. About three quarters of abdominal hernias are inguinal type. Approximately 70000 inguinal hernia operations are carried out every year in Britain. Inguinal hernias are usually one sided and in nearly 20% patients it can occur in both groins.


What causes an inguinal hernia?

Inguinal hernia is an out pouching of abdominal contents through a weakness in the abdominal wall just above the groin crease. It is more common in men. It is difficult to point to exact cause of the hernia. In some the hernia may be present from childhood. In majority, inguinal hernia develops later in life.


What are the expected symptoms?

In majority, inguinal hernia presents as a lump protruding through just above groin crease, mainly on standing or any activity increases intra- abdominal pressure. Usually, the hernia disappears on lying flat. It can cause discomfort or pain mainly on bending, exercise or straining


What are the alarming symptoms?

• Increasing in size

• Worsening pain

• If the hernia turns hard and associated with nausea or vomiting, could indicate obstructed hernia


What is a strangulated hernia?

Strangulated hernia is a surgical emergency, if neglected can lead to very serious complications. Strangulation occurs when blood supply to hernia contents, usually bowel, is impaired leading to ischemia (death of the bowel) or gangrene of the bowel.


What is the treatment of inguinal hernia?

Generally, inguinal hernia are repaired by surgery. Conservative approach can be used in unfit patients. These patients can wear abdominal wall TRUSS to keep the hernia in side.


When is the surgery required?

When hernia becomes painful, increase in size or causes any other symptoms.


What are the different types of surgery available?

Hernia can be repaired by open or by key-hole (laparoscopic) approach. Both the approaches have advantages and disadvantages. You will be able to discuss with your surgeon at the time of consultation.


What happens during surgery?

Inguinal hernia repair is usually carried out under general anaesthesia. Incisions made will vary according to the type of surgery. Aim of the operation will be to identify the hernia defect and push it back in to the abdomen then a mesh repair will be carried out to reinforce the abdominal wall. The wound is usually closed with absorbable sutures.


What is the after care?

You will be encouraged to be mobile as much as possible. We advise our patients to refrain from lifting heavy weights for four weeks and avoid driving till they are able to put an emergency stop. Our patients will be able to go home on the same day depending on the timing of the surgery.


Do I need to take time off from work following surgery?

It depends on the type of work involved, however generally you will need two weeks off from work.


What are the risks from surgery?

Minor side effects and complications common but serious side effects are very rare. There are risks of wound infection, bruising, bleeding from the wound rarely chronic pain and recurrence of hernia (2%)



Inguinal Hernia

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