What is an Inguinal Hernia?

An inguinal hernia is the most common type of hernia and occurs due to a defect in the muscle layers of the groin, resulting in a lump under the skin overlying the groin, or the scrotum. The hernia typically occurs after heavy lifting or straining, and may be painful. The lump is usually easily pushed back in (reduced) or goes back spontaneously when lying down.
Once discovered, inguinal hernias should be repaired as they tend to enlarge, become painful, and may cause serious complications such as bowel gangrene if the bowel gets stuck in the defect.

Inguinal Hernia Repair

This procedure is usually done laparoscopically via three small incisions in the midline below the umbilicus. A space is created beneath the muscle layers, which allows the defect in the muscle layers to be identified. Once found, the defect is repaired by patching it on the inside with a soft polypropylene mesh. It is common practise to inspect the opposite groin for a hernia at the time of surgery and repair it if necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the operation take?

About one hour.

How long will I be in hospital?

Usually you will go home the day of surgery, although sometimes an overnight stay is necessary.

When can I go back to work?

You will need to be off work for five days.

When can I resume normal activities?

Dr. Marr advises no driving or physical activity for five days: after that, you can do whatever is comfortable.

How long will I have pain?

Pain varies, but you will usually require pain killers for between two and five days after surgery

What about the dressings?

There are dissolving sutures under the skin which you won't see. You should leave the dressings on for two weeks. They are waterproof, so bathing or showering is okay.

Will I need a follow-up visit?

You will need to come back for a short follow-up visit two weeks after surgery.