If you have been diagnosed with an inguinal hernia or suspect you may have one, you are probably wondering about your treatment options. This type of hernia may or may not be painful, and this condition is often accompanied with a dragging sensation in the groin area. In almost all cases, repair will require surgical intervention.

What is an Inguinal Hernia?

An inguinal hernia refers to a hernia occurring the groin region. It occurs when a portion of the abdominal wall becomes weakened, allowing part of the intestine or other tissues to protrude outside of the abdominal cavity. This results in a visible bulge on the outside of the body.

Sometimes, an ultrasound is recommended by the doctor to confirm the presence of a hernia condition and to differentiate it from other conditions that may show similar symptoms (eg, a pathologic lymph node).

Inguinal hernias occurs much more frequently in men than in women, with a 9: 1 occurrence ratio between the two sexes. They can occur in all adult age groups. A person has about a 10% chance of developing this type of hernia over one's lifetime.

Options for Best Method to Repair and Inguinal Hernia

If you have this type of hernia, your doctor will likely recommend surgery to repair it. Broadly, there are two major types of surgical hernia repair methods: open repair and laparoscopic repair.

Open repair is the traditional method. It is repaired under local anesthetic and involves a relatively larger incision, longer operative time and longer recovery time.

Meanwhile, laparoscopic (minimally invasive) repair involves a smaller incision. This method involves attaching a telescope to a tiny camera which is inserted into the body through a small incision. It is done using general or spinal anesthesia. It involves a smaller incision, a shorter operative time, and a shorter recovery time.

In both cases, a mesh material is inserted into the body to strengthen the area weakened by the hernia.

Best Method to Repair an Inguinal Hernia: 3 Considerations

What is the best method of repair for your hernia? Only you and your doctor can decide together. But, here are 3 considerations:

1. Do you prefer local or general anesthetic?

2. Do you mind if you have a larger scar after surgery?

3. Are you concerned about having a shorter versus longer recovery time?

Consider the answer to each of these questions and then talk to your doctor about the best option for you.