An inguinal hernia is when abdominal tissues or organs push out through the abdominal wall in a weak area in your groin.

An inguinal hernia is when abdominal tissues or organs push out through the abdominal wall in a weak area in your groin. This causes a lump or swelling. It’s much more common in men than women.

When is surgery needed?

Surgery is the only way to repair an inguinal hernia. If your hernia is small or you don’t have symptoms, it might be an option to delay surgery. But this raises the risk of your hernia becoming strangulated and then needing an emergency operation. Your doctor will usually recommend an inguinal hernia repair if your hernia is causing you symptoms, such as pain.

Inguinal hernia repair is an extremely common operation.

How is inguinal hernia repair carried out?

Inguinal hernia repair may be carried out by open or keyhole surgery. Your surgeon will gently push the tissue and organs back into place. They’ll then fix the weak spot in your abdominal wall either by stitching it together or inserting a mesh. Find out more about hernia repair.

You’ll usually be able to go home the same day as your inguinal hernia repair.

Complications of inguinal hernia repair

Two of the most important complications after inguinal hernia repair are recurrence (your hernia coming back) and chronic pain. Other complications are similar to those for other types of hernia repair, and include infection and build-up of fluid and blood in the area.

Inguinal hernia repair costs and fees

Inguinal hernia repair is often available through private medical insurance. Check with your insurer whether they will cover it. You can also self-fund this treatment.

Typically, an initial consultation with the surgeon will cost between £150 and £250. The cost of the procedure itself will vary depending on the exact surgery you have.

References

  • Inguinal hernias. Patient. patient.info, last edited 17 February 2016.
  • Hammoud M, Gerken J. Inguinal hernia. StatPearls. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, last updated 8 September 2020.
  • Scrotal pain and swelling. Management. Scenario: Inguinal hernia. NICE Clinical Knowledge Summaries. cks.nice.org.uk, last revised March 2021.
  • Helping you to make a speedy recovery after a groin hernia repair. Royal College of Surgeons of England. www.rcseng.ac.uk (accessed 15 June 2021).

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