A hernia occurs when part of the contents of the abdomen, such as the intestine, pushes through a weak spot in the abdominal wall. This can be something you are born with, or it can be caused by frequent strains on the abdomen e.g. carrying and pushing heavy loads or constipation. They also commonly occur in fit, active, healthy people due to anatomical weaknesses.
During keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery, two or three small incisions are made in the abdomen so that the hernia can be reduced and it is repaired by placing a piece of synthetic mesh over the defective area to prevent recurrence. The benefits of keyhole surgery include enhanced recovery, less pain and a better cosmetic result.
Life after inguinal hernia repair
Once the hernia has been repaired, and the patient has recovered from surgery, one should expect to return to a full and active life. However, in approximately 1% of cases the hernia may return, requiring further surgery.
Rare complications of surgery
Laparoscopic hernia repair is usually a straightforward procedure if carried out by an experienced surgeon. As part of the consent process your surgeon will mention complications which, though extremely rare, include temporary inability to pass urine, excessive bruising or swelling around the wound requiring readmission to hospital.
Other types of hernia
Hernias can occur in multiple sites in the abdomen and chest. The most common type of groin hernia is an inguinal hernia, but a femoral hernia can present with similar symptoms. The treatment is often the same as for inguinial hernia.