An inguinal hernia is a defect in the groin. The defect can be a direct, indirect or one of six types of femoral defects. The two critical elements when planning the repair is the size of the hernia and whether or not there has been a previous repair. CT scans of the groin can measure the size of the defect and whether bowel is contained in the hernia.
When bowel is contained in the hernia, the necessity of repair becomes imperative.
Inguinal hernias may be repaired through an incision or with a laparoscope.
For inguinal hernias in young physically active males, the likelihood for long term discomfort is lower with a laparoscopic repair than an open repair. That’s not true for older individuals. For those who have had other operations, their outcomes are very good with an open procedure. And then there are certain patients who may not have a laparoscopic procedure because of previous abdominal surgery such as a hysterectomy, prostatectomy, or colon surgery. A good hernia surgeon needs to know how to repair a hernia both laparoscopically and by open procedure.
Typically, inguinal hernias are repaired on an out-patient basis.