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Weak spots can develop in the layer of muscle in your abdominal wall, resulting in the contents of your abdomen pushing through. This produces a lump called a hernia (see figure 1).
An inguinal hernia happens at the inguinal canal. This is a narrow passage in which blood vessels pass through your abdominal wall.
A hernia can be dangerous because your intestines or other structures within your abdomen can get trapped and have their blood supply cut off (strangulated hernia).
You should no longer have the hernia. Surgery should prevent the serious complications that a hernia can cause.
Inguinal hernias can be repaired using keyhole surgery.
You can sometimes control the hernia with a truss (padded support belt) or simply leave it alone. It will not get better without surgery.
Various anaesthetic techniques are possible. The operation usually takes about 45 minutes.
Your surgeon will make a cut on your groin and remove the ‘hernial sac’. They will strengthen the muscle layer with stitches, usually inserting a synthetic mesh to cover the weak spot, and close your skin.
You should be able to go home the same day.
Increase how much you walk around over the first few days.
You should be able to return to work after two to four weeks depending on how much surgery you need and your type of work.
Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.
The hernia can come back.
An inguinal hernia is a common condition caused by a weakness in your abdominal wall, near the inguinal canal. If left untreated, an inguinal hernia can cause serious complications.
Author: Mr Simon Parsons DM FRCS (Gen. Surg.)
Illustrations: Medical Illustration Copyright © Medical-Artist.com
This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.
Issued November 2017 | Expires end of November 2018
This document will give you information about an open inguinal hernia repair (for women). If you have any questions, you should ask your GP or other relevant health professional.