What Is an Inguinal Hernia?
An inguinal hernia is a small lump caused by the protrusion of the intestine through part of the abdominal muscle. This is due to weakness or a defect in the inguinal canal. This condition is the most common type of hernia and its more frequently seen in men.
Inguinal hernia Symptoms
The main symptom of inguinal hernia is the formation of a bulge in the inguinal canal, which can become painful after certain activities like coughing, being upright or lifting heavy objects. Also, the hernia can extend down into the scrotum in men and cause swelling and pain in this area.
Causes of Inguinal Hernia
Inguinal hernia can appear as the consequence of a birth defect in the inguinal canal or as a gradual weakening of the abdominal muscle wall through the years. The following conditions might increase the risk of hernia:
- Prolonged cough
- Being overweight
- Lifting, carrying or pushing heavy loads
- Premature birth
Inguinal Hernia Treatment
Depending on the size of the hernia, your doctor may recommend monitoring. In some cases using a truss (padded support belt) can help relieve symptoms, however to prevent symptoms getting worse or complications arising, surgery is normally required to 100% repair the hernia.
Surgery options will be with Open Surgery or Laparoscopic Surgery. The minimally invasive Laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair will normally be preferred (depending on the case) by our skilled general surgeons, due to the various benefits of this technique such as reduced recovery times.
In order to be clear for surgery, your surgeon and anesthetist may request some lab tests and they will discuss and explain every detail of the procedure and anything you are unsure about.
After the anesthetic has been administered, your doctor will make some incisions in your skin (in the inguinal area or groin), usually 3-4 inches long, and push back the hernial sac into place. Then, your abdominal wall defect will be repaired and, in some cases, the doctor will insert a synthetic mesh to cover the weak spot. After that, your skin will be closed back again using some stitches. The operation usually takes about 45 minutes.
According to your recovery and progression, you might be able to go home the same day. At home, feeling some discomfort and swelling in the wound will be normal for a couple of weeks.
Usually, returning to your job will be possible after 2 weeks. Always avoiding lifting heavy objects or strenuous activities for at least 5-6 weeks.