What is an inguinal hernia?
An inguinal hernia is a common defect in the groin. Though there are direct, indirect, and femoral types within the inguinal hernia class, they are often repaired the same way. These are especially common in men as the canal the testicles previously took to migrate into the scrotum prior to birth is a natural area of weakness.
What are common symptoms?
Inguinal hernias can cause the sensation of pressure or a dull ache that worsens over the course of the day or with strenuous activity. There may or may not be a visible bulge. Rarely, patient may notice more intense pain or even obstructive symptoms such as nausea, emesis, or new constipation.
Should I have it fixed?
If you are having symptoms, you should probably have it fixed. Your other health problems, frequency and severity of symptoms, and effect on daily life all help determine the urgency of having a surgery.
How do you fix inguinal hernias?
Inguinal hernias can be fixed by minimally invasive (laparoscopic or robotic) surgery or by the traditional open approach. The best approach for you will be discussed with your surgeon.
What is recovery like?
You normally go home after these procedures. You may shower the next day. The incisions are closed with dissolveable stitches underneath the skin and either skin glue that flakes off in 2-3 weeks OR miniature band aids that fall off in 2 weeks. We recommend not lifting greater than 20 pounds for 4 weeks to help prevent the hernia from coming back. We recommend standard walking and daily activities even the day of surgery as tolerated. Most patients need 3-5 days to feel reasonably functional with varying degrees of ability to work.