Do You Need Surgery for Inguinal Hernia? Your Essential Questions Answered

You or someone close to you may be suffering from an inguinal hernia for some time now and have probably been told that the best course of action would be to have it removed – and they’re right. The problem with an inguinal hernia is that the symptoms may be light at first, but it’s a condition that is bound to worsen later. Whilst the muscles and skin are usually strong enough to withstand pressure, there comes a time when the pressure is too great, thus resulting in a permanent weak area or spot. It’s not a cause for concern per se – but when the symptoms get worse, it’s time for an emergency operation – and you wouldn’t want that at all. So do you need surgery for an inguinal hernia? Here are the answers to your most essential questions.

When do you need surgery?

It is the foremost question which needs answering, and the answer is yes. The fact is that it may only be a source of discomfort now – but what if complications develop? Some hernias can cause pain or persistent or severe symptoms. And there are several kinds of complications that can occur. One is if there is an obstruction, which can happen when a portion of the bowel is stuck within the inguinal canal, and this can cause anything from vomiting and nausea to intense pain in the abdominal area.

Another complication can be caused by strangulation, and as an inguinal hernia surgeon in London from Londonsurgicalgroup.co.uk confirms, the blood supply from the bowel is cut off as it becomes trapped. It requires surgery immediately to restore the blood supply and release the tissue that has been trapped.

The surgery – what happens?

Fortunately, you can repair an inguinal hernia in two ways. The first is through an open surgical procedure, and the second is through laparoscopic surgery. Open surgery involves the surgeon making a large cut or incision on the abdomen so the surgeon can push the bulge or lump back in, whilst with a laparoscopic surgical procedure, the surgeon makes a series of minor cuts where they insert some tiny instruments to repair the hernia.

Both methods come with advantages, but there are also disadvantages to each. The surgeon will tell you which method is the most viable, and they will often be guided by their experience. The good news is that most patients go home on the day of the procedure or at least the following day, but it is crucial to follow the instructions given to you by your surgeon. Most surgeons will tell you, for instance, that you should stay away from a diet that’s too rich, as it can lead to constipation. They will also give you wound care instructions and probably tell you to avoid intense exercise or strenuous activity.

The period of recovery

Most individuals are expected to make a complete recovery within six weeks, but a few people have been known to return to light activity and work within the first two weeks.

It’s best to stick to a well-balanced diet to avoid constipation, and your surgeon will be able to advise you when you can drive again.