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Inguinal Hernia

What is a Hernia?

Hernia is a condition in which part of the intestine bulges through a weak area in muscles in the abdomen. It presents on the outside as a lump in the abdomen.

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Where can I get surgery to repair Inguinal Hernia?

Country Cost with MedSolution
India (Please inquire for price)
Cost of procedure performed in the US: $4,000 to $8,000.
All prices are in US dollars and include the cost of the procedure and minimum hospital stay. Estimates and minimum hospital stay will vary depending upon individual needs and requirements.

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What is an Inguinal Hernia?

An Inguinal Hernia occurs in the groin (the area between the abdomen and thigh). It is called 'inguinal' because the intestines push through a weak spot in the inguinal canal. Inguinal canal is a triangle-shaped opening between layers of abdominal muscle near the groin. Obesity, pregnancy, heavy lifting, and straining to pass stool can cause the intestine to push against the inguinal canal.

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Who is at risk for developing Inguinal Hernia?

If you have chronic constipation or chronic cough, if you have a family history of Inguinal Hernia, if you are moderate to severely over weight, if you are pregnant, if you are involved in an occupation that requires you to lift heavy weight or if you have weak abdominal muscles, then you are at high risk for developing Inguinal Hernia.

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How is Inguinal Hernia repaired?

Three surgical approaches are used for the repair of Inguinal Hernia

  • Herniorrhaphy - In this procedure to treat Inguinal Hernia, the protruding part of the intestine is pushed back into the abdomen and the weak part of the abdominal wall is repaired and sewn.
  • Hernioplasty - In this technique, a piece of synthetic mesh is used to cover and reinforce the entire inguinal area including the weak points or holes.
  • Laparoscopic Hernioplasty - This is a minimally invasive technique to repair Inguinal Hernia. In this technique, a Laparoscope is inserted through a small incision in the abdominal wall and Hernioplasty is performed while visualizing the interior of the abdomen using a video camera.

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Who is an ideal candidate for Inguinal Hernia repair?

Of course, if you have an Inguinal Hernia, then you are an ideal candidate for surgical repair. What is important is that it is always a good idea to get Inguinal Hernia repaired surgically as an elective procedure before an emergency arises i.e. strangulation or incarceration of the Inguinal Hernia. This is can be life threatening and requires immediate attention

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How do I prepare for the surgery?

You will be hospitalized the day before for pre-operative assessment and routine testing of blood, urine, ECG and chest x-ray. Blood typing and cross matching is done in case transfusion is required during Inguinal Hernia surgery. Inform your surgeon about your other health conditions and medications (including all the prescription, non-prescription medications, nutritional supplements i.e. vitamins, minerals and herbal products). Refrain from taking aspirin or Ibuprofen at least 2 weeks before Inguinal Hernia repair. Stop smoking a few weeks before Inguinal Hernia surgery to prevent healing problems during recovery period. Do not eat or drink any thing for at least 10 - 12 hours before the surgery.

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What does the procedure to treat Inguinal Hernia involve?

As mentioned above, there are 3 surgical options to repair Inguinal Hernia:

  • Herniorrhaphy - This is conducted under general anesthesia. In this procedure, your surgeon will make an incision in your groin area, push the protruding intestines back into the abdomen and repair the weakened or torn muscle in the abdominal wall.
  • Hernioplasty - In this procedure to repair Inguinal Hernia, the inguinal area is permanently strengthened by reinforcing with an artificial mesh that covers the entire groin area and also potential weak points and openings. This procedure is also performed under general anesthesia. The patch of mesh is secured with sutures, clips or staples. Hernioplasty is usually performed with a single incision over the Inguinal Hernia.
  • Laparoscopic Hernioplasty - This is a Minimally Invasive method that can be performed through 3 small incisions in the abdomen. A Laparoscope is inserted that provides a magnified view of internal organs. The hernia is repaired, abdominal wall is permanently strengthened using a piece of artificial mesh which is secured to the inside and the incisions are closed. This procedure to repair Inguinal Hernia can be performed under general anesthesia or spinal block and sedation.

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What is the recovery period like following surgery to repair Inguinal Hernia?

You will probably be discharged from the hospital the next day. There will be pain and discomfort following the surgery which can be alleviated by pain medication. Avoid getting constipated, developing a cough, performing strenuous activities like lifting something heavy, playing sports or having sexual intercourse for at least 2 weeks after the operation to repair Inguinal Hernia. You will be instructed by your surgeon to perform some exercises to strengthen your abdominal muscles to prevent the Inguinal Hernia from recurring. You will be able to perform all your routine daily activities in about a month.

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What is the outcome of surgery to repair Inguinal Hernia?

Laparoscopic repair of the Inguinal Hernia is stronger than a repair performed through abdominal approach. In fact Laparoscopic approach is widely used in people who have a recurring Inguinal Hernia that has been repaired by abdominal approach previously. Thus the outcome of this technique is much better.

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B . R . A . N . D . of surgery to repair Inguinal Hernia

Benefits of surgery to repair Inguinal Hernia

  • Laparoscopic surgery to repair Inguinal Hernia has the benefits of short hospital stay, quicker recovery and fewer recurrences. However, any surgery to repair Inguinal Hernia prevents strangulation (getting trapped) and incarceration of the herniated loop of the intestine, which is a surgical emergency and requires immediate care and attention.

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Risks of surgery to repair Inguinal Hernia

  • Allergic reaction to anesthesia
  • Infection
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Perforation of bowel
  • Difficulty urinating

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Alternatives to surgery to repair Inguinal Hernia

  • Truss for support - Wearing a truss for support does not provide long term solution for Inguinal Hernia. It may provide temporary relief until surgery to repair Inguinal Hernia is scheduled.

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Now or Never

  • Inguinal Hernia will not get better on it's own, on the contrary the lump will get bigger and more painful as time goes by. To prevent complications from strangulation (entrapment) or incarceration of bowel loop, surgery to repair Inguinal Hernia is your best option.

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Decision to have surgery to repair Inguinal Hernia

  • Inguinal Hernia repair is a safe operation that is commonly performed worldwide. In order to make a fully informed decision, you should be aware of the possible risks of the surgery to repair Inguinal Hernia.

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Keywords: Abdominal Hernia, Strangulated Hernia, Trapped Intestinal Loop, Intestinal Perforation, Hernia Repair, Minimall Invasive Surgery, Laparoscopic Hernia Repair, Lump in Abdomen, Lump in the Groin, Incarcerated Hernia, Perorated Bowel

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