Open Inguinal Hernia Repair
This information is about open inguinal hernia repair (male). For further details, please speak to your consultant.
What is Inguinal Hernias?
One function of our abdominal muscles is to hold the contents of our abdomen safely in place. However, our abdominal muscles can sometimes weaken to the point that parts of our internal structures can protrude through. This can result in an uncomfortable lump which we call a hernia (see figure 1).
An inguinal hernia
Inguinal hernias are the most common form of hernia and they appear as painful lumps in the groin or testicles. They are caused by the contents of the abdomen pushing through into the inguinal canal - a channel of blood vessels that supply blood to the testicles.
Why seek surgery?
It is important to seek treatment for hernias as they can lead to serious health problems. Internal organs such as the bowel can be damaged and a strangulated hernia can block off the blood supply to parts of your body.
Removing an inguinal hernia can be done via open inguinal hernia repair or through keyhole surgery.
A hernia will not disappear by itself and although it can be controlled by strapping on a padded belt (truss), surgery is the best way to get rid of it for good.
What happens during surgery?
An appropriate form of anaesthetic will be administered and you can expect the operation to take 45 minutes.
The hernial sac will be removed by your surgeon through an incision in the skin. A synthetic mesh and stitches will repair and strengthen the muscle. Finally, the incision will be closed with stitches.
What sort of healing process is there?
Patients treated for inguinal hernias are usually able to return home on the same day as the procedure. Movement should be slowly increased for the first few days to give your body a chance to heal.
Work and normal activities tend to be resumed in two to four weeks but take advice from your GP as this will depend on the extent of your operation and what sort of work you are involved with. Exercise is known to help but again, take advice before you begin to ensure it is suitable.
Although inguinal hernias are common, they can also become dangerous without treatment. Surgery is the most effective way to repair the hernia.
References: EIDO Healthcare Limited - The operation and treatment information on this website is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Aspen Healthcare.
The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.