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Inguinal hernia repair

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About inguinal hernia repair

Inguinal hernia surgery (hernioplasty) is an operation to repair an inguinal hernia. An inguinal hernia is a lump in your groin. It happens when fatty tissue or a part of your bowel pokes through a weakness in your muscles around your abdomen and groin.

Inguinal hernia surgery can push the bulge back into place. It will also strengthen the weakened area in your muscle to provide support.

How can I prepare for my inguinal hernia repair?

Your surgeon will explain how to prepare and what will happen when you have a hernia operation. Your hospital may ask you not to eat or drink anything for a set time before your procedure. 

You should arrange to have someone take you home after a hernia operation.

What happens during my inguinal hernia repair? 

Before the procedure, your surgeon will talk you through the process and ask you to sign a consent form.

When you have inguinal hernia surgery, you will be seen as a day case. An inguinal hernia repair may be performed under local anaesthesia. This will numb the area and completely block any pain. Alternatively you can have a general anaesthetic.  This means you will be asleep during the procedure.

Once the anaesthetic has taken effect, your surgeon will make a single cut over your hernia. He or she will push the fatty tissue or part of your bowel back into your abdomen. Your surgeon may use stitches to reinforce the muscle wall in your abdomen. Alternatively (or as well as) your surgeon may place a mesh in your abdominal wall. This will be at the weak spot where the hernia came through and will help to strengthen it. Your surgeon will then close the cut with dissolvable stitches.

The procedure usually takes around 45 minutes.

Are there any complications or risks of my inguinal hernia repair?

As with every procedure, there are complications associated with inguinal hernia repair. Speak to your surgeon for more information.

Complications of inguinal hernia surgery include bleeding, an infection, or damage to surrounding nerves. It's possible you could have severe pain after the operation (that lasts for months) or numbness in your groin.

It's possible that your hernia may come back and you will need another operation.

Recovering from inguinal hernia repair

You might have some swelling around your wound for a couple of weeks and some bruising but this will improve.

It's important to not to lift anything heavy or do any strenuous activity for at least two weeks after your hernia surgery.

It can take two to three weeks to make a full recovery from inguinal hernia surgery. However, you may be able to return to work after a week or two but this will depend on the type of job you have. You may be able to drive after a week but ask your surgeon for advice.

How much does inguinal hernia repair cost? 

For a guide to what you could pay for your treatment, click here.

What to do next

Once you have decided that you would like to be treated at an HCA hospital, or would like further information, here's what to do next:

  1. Call one of our advisors on +44 (0) 20 3582 3133 or complete our web enquiry form.
  2. Check with your insurance company that your policy covers your treatment, and obtain authorisation.
  3. Visit or call your GP to obtain a referral letter and then call us to make an appointment to visit your chosen consultant and hospital at a time to suit you.
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