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Inguinal Hernia Repair Surgery at Our Los Angeles Center

An inguinal hernia occurs when an area of soft tissue pushes through the lower abdominal wall, usually through the groin area. The soft tissue is usually a small amount of intestine that can poke or protrude around the groin area. Inguinal hernias are not always dangerous to your health, but they do not resolve themselves without medical intervention.

Symptoms of inguinal hernia include:

  • Bulging on either side of the pubic bone that is most noticeable when you cough or strain
  • Pain or discomfort at the groin
  • Heavy or pressure-filled sensation at the groin
  • Burning, aching or gurgling sensation concentrated at the groin

 

Inguinal hernias can occur in people of all ages. You may possibly have one and never know the cause. Some common causes include straining when having a bowel movement, fluid in the abdomen, pregnancy, obesity, pre-existing weak spot in the abdomen or chronic coughing or sneezing. Anything that forcefully puts pressure in the abdominal area may contribute to an inguinal hernia. Men also are more likely to experience an inguinal hernia because they do not have protective ligaments that hold a woman’s uterus in place.

Surgical Indications

While inguinal hernias do not always need surgical repair, the hernia tends to get larger with time. The enlarging size can cause a number of complications, some of which can be life threatening. An enlarging inguinal hernia can place pressure on surrounding tissues, such as the male scrotum, which contributes to pain and swelling.

If the intestines are a part of the inguinal hernia, they can become trapped or even strangulated. These conditions restrict blood flow to the intestines, which can cause a bowel obstruction or death to your bowel tissue. These can cause highly painful symptoms, including:

  • Nausea
  • Uncontrollable vomiting
  • Inability to have a bowel movement or pass gas

 

Inguinal hernias that are strangulated require emergency surgery to repair.

Surgical Inguinal Hernia Repair

Surgery to repair an inguinal hernia requires placing you under general anesthesia. This anesthesia type puts you in a deep sleep so you will not feel pain or remember the surgery. Surgeons at miVIP Surgery Centers can perform inguinal hernia repair using laparoscopic or minimally invasive methods. This surgical approach involves making three-to-four small incisions in your lower abdomen. Your surgeon will insert a thin tube with a camera on the end to visualize the inside of your abdominal cavity. He or she will then insert thin surgical instruments into the area to locate the hernia and ease it back into its proper place. Your surgeon will then close any openings to prevent future inguinal hernias from forming. He also may apply a special mesh patch over the weak area to provide additional strength.

If you have an inguinal hernia on both sides of your groin area, a laparoscopic approach requires no additional incisions. However, an open approach would require an additional incision on the opposite side.

Minimal Approach, Maximum Benefits

While traditional inguinal hernia repair requires a surgeon to make a large abdominal incision, the laparoscopic approach allows for a better cosmetic outcome. In addition to less scarring, the approach also offers a number of recovery benefits, including:

  • Less bleeding
  • Less risk for infection
  • Faster healing times
  • Shorter length of hospital stay
  • Faster return to everyday activities

 

The post-surgery prognosis for inguinal hernia repair is very good: Less than three out of 100 patients have inguinal hernias that return post-surgery.

While you can expect some discomfort and soreness following surgery, most patients can quickly return to activities such as walking, working, showering and driving.

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