On this page,
- About inguinal hernia
- What is inguinal hernia?
- Symptoms of inguinal hernia
- Causes of inguinal hernia
- Risk factors
- Diagnosing inguinal hernia
- Treating inguinal hernia
- Recovery time for inguinal hernia
- What to expect after inguinal hernia surgery
- Complications of inguinal hernia surgery
Inguinal hernia is a very common disorder that affecting millions of people yet many do not well-informed about its existence. Considered to be a surgical disease, inguinal hernia accounts for thousands of annual operations worldwide.
Inguinal hernia is a common type of hernia in the area of the groin that occurs when some of the tissue that is part of the intestine protrudes through a spot in the abdominal wall. As a result, chronic groin pain hernia symptom and irregular swelling can manifest. Pain intensifies when patient of inguinal hernia lifts something heavy (power lifting), coughs or performs certain types of movements.
Inguinal hernia usually generates mild, unspecific symptoms, which can be misleading in establishing the proper diagnosis. The symptoms are different from person to person, but there are some that appear quite often. The most common symptoms of inguinal hernia are groin pain, lump, a large bulge that can easily be seen and felt, and intestinal blockage in more severe cases. Also, men often complained of sharp pain in the scrotum. Other symptoms of inguinal hernia include abdominal pain and discomfort (which intensify with intense physical effort or sudden moves), abdominal bloating and nausea.
There are many factors that can lead to the development of inguinal hernia, include birth defects, internal disorders or acquired weaknesses of the abdominal wall. Inguinal hernia usually occurs on the background of a weak lower abdominal wall, allowing the internal soft tissues to pierce through it.
Inguinal hernia affects men more than women. Moreover, this type of hernia has the highest incidence in the elderly, people who constantly endure physical effort and smokers. Even some children have been found with inguinal hernia but these cases were uncommon. Inguinal hernia can sometimes appear at newborns because the congenital weakness of abdominal wall. In these cases, it can easily be detected since the bulge / irregular swelling created is visible, especially when the child coughs.
Many inguinal hernia patients may not experience any symptoms at all and even some are asymptomatic, rendering the process of diagnosing the disorder a lot more difficult. The only reliable means of detecting inguinal hernia involve MRI scans (magnetic resonance imaging), X-ray scans, computerized tomography and laparoscopy. Since inguinal hernia usually develops latently, most cases are discovered long after they develop complications, thus needing emergency surgical treatment in treating their inguinal hernia disorder. However, if the disorder is found in time, patients have the possibility to decide whether they will have their hernia surgically repaired or not.
The disorder itself is not dangerous, but if it is not treated it may cause severe complications that may even lead to death in some extreme cases. This is why doctors recommend surgery as soon as inguinal hernia is starting to cause pain or it is starting to grow. Now, how long is the recovery time for inguinal surgery? What to expect after inguinal hernia surgery? And are there any complications of inguinal hernia surgery? Let’s take a look.
In the past, the surgery for inguinal hernia involved a large opening in the abdomen followed by a long time spent in the hospital for recovery from hernia surgery, but nowadays the surgical techniques have improved a lot and the operation can be done in a much easier way and without weeks of recovery time in the hospital.
Besides from being difficult to diagnose, inguinal hernia also leads to many post-operative issues. Although the surgical intervention in treating inguinal hernia is a simple procedure that involves minimal risks, it can’t always prevent the disorder from reoccurring. In fact, the majority of patients that suffer surgical hernia repair experience an aggravation of the disorder in time. Hence, in many cases the surgical treatment for inguinal hernia only gives temporary relief, and most of these patients require further medical treatment because of complications.
Medical scientists have conducted various experiments in order to establish whether surgical intervention is recommended or not for patients with uncomplicated inguinal hernia. One recent study reveals that patients who decide to delay surgery generally experience the same symptoms as patients who suffer surgical interventions. However, another recent experiment suggests that there is a greater chance for patients who have suffered surgery to experience more intense symptoms than patients who decide not to have their inguinal hernia surgically repaired.
Considering the fact that complications of inguinal hernia surgery may happen, many doctors recommend surgical intervention in treating inguinal hernia only to patients who suffer from complicated inguinal hernia, suggesting that surgery is not the best option in the treatment of the disorder. In fact, most medical professionals consider surgery to be a last-resort procedure in the treatment of inguinal hernia. Statistics reveal that the patients who have their inguinal hernia surgically corrected can in time experience a relapse of the disorder and they are actually more exposed to developing complications than the patients who delay their surgery.
The exact causes of reoccurrence of inguinal hernia in patients who have suffered surgical intervention remain unknown. But, the post-operative recurrence rate of inguinal hernia in patients is very high. In many cases, the factors that contribute to the recurrence of inguinal hernia in patients who undergo surgery in treating inguinal hernia are associated to native predispositions. These sufferers tend to have a weak abdominal wall or other internal physiological abnormalities. Hence, they should be aware about what to expect after inguinal hernia surgery. The categories exposed to the highest risk of relapse are:
- Patients with native defects of the internal organs (gastrointestinal problems)
- Patients with physiological abnormalities of the abdominal wall
- Patients whose careers involve intense physical activities
- Patients who fall into these categories are advised to delay their inguinal hernia surgery for as long as possible, in order to prevent a recurrence or even an aggravation of the disorder.
Although the occurrence of inguinal hernia can’t be effectively prevented, you can prevent the development of complications. Now that you know what to expect after inguinal hernia surgery and complications of inguinal hernia surgery, if your inguinal hernia disorder is timely diagnosed, mild and uncomplicated, probably the best option for you in treating inguinal hernia is to keep the hernia under control and to delay surgery for as long as possible. You should avoid intense physical effort and reduce the amount of stress in order to prevent further aggravation of the disorder. Also, you must make regular visits to their doctors for physical examination. This way, you may be able to delay surgery for many years.