An inguinal hernia is a bulging out of the tissues in the
groin area. Some hernias allow structures to pass down into
the scrotum. The bulge consists of intestine and/or fatty
tissue which has slipped into the hernia sack. A hernia may
be reducible, irreducible, obstructed or strangulated.
COMMON SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Usually there is a bulge with or without vague aching in the
area. Most of the time the bulge can be pushed back or
reduces itself when you lie down. When the hernia is
complicated the bulge can be very tender.
The best treatment for a hernia is to repair it by
operation. There are different techniques by which a hernia
can be repaired. Your doctor will discuss with you the
technique he uses. The purpose of an operation is to reduce
the hernial contents, to remove the hernial sac and in some
manner to strengthen the weakened muscles and tissues.
Make sure your doctor knows what medicines you take,
especially medicines which may affect blood clotting
Your doctor may decide to investigate or treat associated
problems which may affect the success of the operation. This
refers mostly to smoking, coughing, difficulty with passing
urine and difficulty with passing stools.
Do not eat or drink anything for six hours before the
operation. After admission to hospital you may be required
to shower, bath and be shaved. You may be given a sedative
before the operation.
The operation may be done under local or general
Your doctor will discuss this with you. The operation
usually takes approximately one hour.
After the operation you will be observed in a recovery area.
You will be monitored. You will then return to the ward. You
will be given medicines to control pain. Your doctor will
discuss with you whether you may be discharged the same day
or whether you will be required to stay in hospital
overnight. Arrangements will be made for removal of your
stitches and for follow up visits to your doctor.
Your doctor will discuss with you what you may do after the
operation. Strenuous activity should be limited for a few
weeks. You may eat as you wish but try and keep to normal
bowel habits. Your doctor will discuss when you may return
Complications are not common after an INGUINAL HERNIA
REPAIR, but you must be aware of the following possible
A bleed or haematoma at the site of an INGUINAL HERNIA
REPAIR does sometimes occur. Depending on the extent of this
bleed, this does sometimes need a repeat operation to
evacuate the haematoma.
The wound of an INGUINAL HERNIA REPAIR does occasionally
become infected. How that is managed will depend on your
doctor. It may necessitate dressings or other active
Occasionally the nerves supplying the skin around the
wound and in the region of the upper thigh and the scrotum
are injured. This may lead to temporary or permanent
numbness in the area.
Injuries to the testes or structures to and from the
testes are possible, but very rare. When this occurs, the
testis may swell and later shrink.
Systemic complications like deep venous thrombosis and
pulmonary embolism are rare, but possible after any
operation or anaesthetic.
The incidence of recurrence of a hernia after a repair
varies between 1% and 10%.