Thumbnail image of: Groin Hernia: Illustration
Thumbnail image of: Laparoscopy: Illustration

Groin Hernia Repair

What is a groin hernia?

When you have a hernia, part of the intestine (bowel) bulges through a weak area or gap in the muscles in the wall of your belly. A groin hernia is a hernia in the lower part of your belly, where your legs join the lower part of your body.

What is groin hernia repair?

Groin hernia repair is surgery to repair the weak area in your belly wall. The bowel that is pushing through the weak area is moved back into its normal place.

When is it used?

A groin hernia may need to be repaired with surgery to relieve symptoms or to avoid serious problems. A groin hernia can become a serious problem if your intestines get trapped in the gap between the muscles. Then blood cannot get to that part of your intestines and part of the intestines may die. This is a medical emergency, can make you very sick, and be life threatening.

Ask your healthcare provider about your choices for treatment and the risks.

How do I prepare for this procedure?

  • Make plans for your care and recovery after you have the procedure. Find someone to give you a ride home after the procedure. Allow for time to rest and try to find other people to help with your day-to-day tasks while you recover.
  • Follow your provider’s instructions about not smoking before and after the procedure. Smokers may have more breathing problems during the procedure and heal more slowly. It is best to quit 6 to 8 weeks before surgery.
  • You may or may not need to take your regular medicines the day of the procedure. Some medicines (like aspirin) may increase your risk of bleeding during or after the procedure. Tell your healthcare provider about all medicines and supplements that you take. Ask your provider if you need to avoid taking any medicine or supplements before the procedure.
  • Your healthcare provider will tell you when to stop eating and drinking before the procedure. This helps to keep you from vomiting during the procedure.
  • Follow any other instructions your healthcare provider may give you.
  • Ask any questions you have before the procedure. You should understand what your healthcare provider is going to do. You have the right to make decisions about your healthcare and to give permission for any tests or procedures.

What happens during the procedure?

You will be given regional or general anesthesia to keep you from feeling pain during the procedure. Regional anesthesia numbs part of your body while you stay awake. If you have regional anesthesia, you may also be given medicine to help you relax. General anesthesia relaxes your muscles and you will be asleep.

Surgery to repair a groin hernia may be done in 2 ways.

  • Laparoscopic surgery is done through several small cuts in your lower belly. A laparoscope is a small lighted tube put into your belly through small cuts along with tools used for the repair.
  • Sometimes open surgery is done, which means that one bigger cut is made in your belly to repair the hernia.

During the surgery your provider may sew a piece of mesh over the weak spot in your belly wall, creating a newer, stronger wall.

What happens after the procedure?

You may be able to go home later on the day of the surgery. In some cases you may need to stay at the hospital for 1 to 3 days, depending on your condition.

For several days after surgery, men may have swelling in their testicles and be uncomfortable.

Ask your healthcare provider:

  • How long it will take to recover
  • What activities you should avoid, such as lifting, and when you can return to your normal activities, including work
  • How to take care of yourself at home
  • What symptoms or problems you should watch for and what to do if you have them

Make sure you know when you should come back for a checkup. Keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.

What are the risks of this procedure?

Every procedure or treatment has risks. Some possible risks of this procedure include:

  • You may have problems with anesthesia.
  • You may have infection or bleeding.
  • Other parts of your body may be injured during the surgery.

Ask your healthcare provider how these risks apply to you. Be sure to discuss any other questions or concerns that you may have.

Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-12-15
Last reviewed: 2014-12-15
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

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