What is an Inguinal Groin Hernia?
A hernia can form when an individual has a weak spot in their abdominal muscles and pressure is exerted on internal tissues and organs.
The pressure caused by straining or lifting a heavy object can push a small section of the intestinal tissue out through that weak spot creating a hernia. An inguinal hernia is normally located on either side of the pelvic bone.
What are the Symptoms of an Inguinal Groin Hernia?
Inguinal groin hernias are not usually dangerous but often cause pain or discomfort. Some signs of an inguinal groin hernia include:
In rare cases, the hernia may become trapped (strangulated) causing a medical emergency and requiring immediate medical attention. Some of the signs and symptoms of a strangulated hernia include:
Who is a Candidate for Inguinal Groin Hernia Repair?
Some surgeons prefer to repair hernias rather than take the “watchful waiting” approach to avoid any potential complications but in general, you may be a candidate for surgical hernia repair if:
What Inguinal Hernia Treatments are available?
Hernias do not go away on their own and approximately 75% of individuals with a hernia will require surgical treatment to repair the hernia and alleviate symptoms.
Wearing a protective corset, Truss, or Binder can help contain the hernia bulge but will not fix the hernia. Unfortunately, there are no options for inguinal hernia treatment without surgery.
Inguinal Hernia Surgery Procedures
Two surgical techniques can be used to perform inguinal hernia repair: laparoscopic and open. Laparoscopic surgery can be performed free hand by the surgeon or robotically where the surgeon controls robotic arms through a computer.
How is Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia Repair performed?
Laparoscopic or robotic inguinal hernia repair is performed under general anesthesia and is normally done as an outpatient procedure.
Laparoscopic hernia repair is minimally invasive and is performed through several small incisions in the abdomen. A laparoscope, a small hollow tube-shaped surgical instrument that is outfitted with a camera, is used to guide the surgeon while the inguinal groin hernia is repaired.
Using the camera as a guide, other tiny instruments are inserted through the incisions, to complete the inguinal hernia repair. Not all, but most groin hernias are repaired using surgical mesh. Repairing an inguinal hernia with mesh strengthens the weak portion of the abdominal wall preventing the hernia from protruding.
Advantages of Laparoscopic Hernia Repair
Open Inguinal Hernia Repair
During open inguinal hernia repair, the surgeon makes an incision in the groin area to access the protruding hernia. The groin hernia is pushed back in through the abdominal wall and the area is often reinforced with surgical mesh and sutured together.
Open hernia repair can be done under general anesthesia but also local anesthesia can be used so this may be a good option for patients who are at elevated risk of complications from general anesthesia.
How long is Recovery Time from Groin Hernia Surgery?
Recovery from hernia repair varies depending on the degree of the hernia, the surgical technique used, and the overall health of the patient. The typical recovery from laparoscopic inguinal hernia surgery is one to two weeks while recovering from open hernia surgery can take three to four weeks.
How much does Inguinal Groin Hernia Repair cost?
The cost of groin hernia surgery will vary due to multiple factors such as the use of mesh, size of the hernia, the technique of hernia repair used, patient health, etc. The average cost of inguinal groin hernia repair in the United States ranges between $4,200 and $6,200.
Inguinal groin hernia surgery is not considered cosmetic and is usually covered by health insurance. Patient responsibility will be dependent on the type and use of insurance, FSA, or HSA programs.
If you are interested in learning more about inguinal hernia repair, call or contact IBI Healthcare Institute and schedule a consultation with a specialist.