About Hernias

What is a Hernia?

A hernia is a lump that results from a part of the intestine (bowel) slipping through a weakness in the abdominal wall. The most common hernias are inguinal hernias (groin hernias). They are most often found in men.

The most common symptom of a hernia is a lump in the groin. Sometimes the lump is painful, but a small hernia may not even be noticed and may only be found as part of a routine examination. The lump often disappears when the patient is lying down, and may not be obvious after a night’s sleep.

Most hernias require surgical repair to alleviate symptoms and to prevent possible strangulation of the intestines. The most common form of repair is to insert an artificial mesh in the defect, sometimes under local anaesthetic. General anaesthetic is more commonly used but may be precluded by a patient’s pre-existing medical problems.

Surgical hernia repair can be carried out laparoscopically (keyhole surgery) with tiny incisions or by open surgery. Because it is less intrusive, keyhole surgery has a quicker recovery time, enabling you to get back to work more quickly. However keyhole surgery is not always suitable. We will be able to assist you in your decision.

For further information about Hernias and Hernia repair, please contact us.

For more detailed information about hernias, click here.


Where do Hernias Occur?

Hernias occur most often in the groin, abdomen, around the navel or through previous sites of abdominal surgery. For more information, see Types of hernias.


Hernia Repair Surgery – A Common Procedure

OpenThe operation for a groin hernia is one of the commonest surgical procedures.

Whether it’s done by open surgery or by keyhole surgery, it is usually carried out under general anaesthetic in a day hospital, with good recovery times either way. From the time the patient wakes up from surgery, the repaired hernia is already stronger.

The Hernia Clinic conducts regular audits of its practices and patient results and uses the latest laparoscopic techniques.

KeyholeWith keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery, a tiny camera is inserted into the abdomen during the operation, to let the surgeon watch the operation on a TV screen linked to the camera. The operation is performed with long instruments inserted into two tiny incisions. The patient can expect to be back at work or at their chosen leisure activity much sooner, although keyhole surgery is not for everybody.

The patient will need to take it easy for the first two or three days, but is likely to be fairly comfortable doing most normal day-to-day activities after a week.

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