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Inguinal Hernia repair

A hernia is the protrusion of organs, such as intestines, through a weakened section of the abdominal wall. If left untreated, the split in the muscle widens and greater amounts of tissue or organs are pushed through the opening, forming a sac. This visible lump or bulge is one of the key characteristics of a hernia.

The weakened abdominal wall can be present at birth or may develop later in life. The most common site is the groin, but hernias can also form in other areas, such as the navel. If the lump can be gently pushed back through the abdominal wall, it is known as a reducible hernia. If the lump resists manual pressure, it is a non-reducible hernia, which can mean serious complications.

Both forms of hernia require surgical repair. There are almost 100,000 hernia repairs performed annually in NHS England, making this one of the most common operations.


What are the symptoms of an inguinal hernia?

You may first notice an inguinal hernia as a lump in the groin. The lump is usually painless, but some people report discomfort or a ‘dragging’ sensation. The lump may be more noticeable when you cough or strain, and usually disappears when you relax or lie down.

Men over their lifetime

of hernias are Inguinal

Inguinal hernia operations worldwide

Recurrence rate

Treatment of groin hernia


Surgical hernia repair is the mainstay of treatment groin hernias causing symptoms. Non-surgical treatments include close observation or the wearing of a truss (a type of belt that keeps the hernia from protruding).

Inguinal hernia rarely become strangulated, but are often symptomatic and will increase in size overtime. Surgical hernia repair is usually advisable, unless you have no symptoms or are unfit to undergo day surgery.

Femoral hernia usually requires surgical repair as there is a higher risk of bowel obstruction or strangulation (trapped), than an inguinal hernia. Your surgeon will push the bulged organ back to its place and close or provide support to the weakened area of the abdominal cavity.

Your surgeon may perform either an open or a Laparoscopic repair if groin hernia. These procedures will be performed under the effect of general anaesthesia. Local anaesthesia and medicines to help you relax may be administered for repairing a small hernia.

What are the risks with Hernia Surgery?


There are some risks of hernia repair that are shared by all operations, these risks occur rarely. They are a heart attack, stroke, a clot in the lungs (pulmonary embolism), significant bleeding, infection and injury to the bowel.

There are some risks that are specific to nguinal hernia repair. They are:

  • About 1% of hernias repair patients will require revision surgery for a recurrent hernia
  • Rarely (about 0.01%) there can be an injury to the bladder, spermatic cord or nerve.
  • Sometimes the hernia cannot be repaired with the laparoscope and an old-fashioned open repair is necessary.
  • Chronic nerve irritation can be an issue with some types of hernia surgery
  • Occasionally patients have difficulty passing urine after the operation.






Return To Activity, Work and Sport After Hernia Surgery

Return to work will vary depending on the procedure performed and the type of work you are engaged in. Most people can return to office work and low impact sports within 1 week. Labour intensive work and contact sports, however, may require you to take 4-6 weeks before returning to full duties.

I saw Mr Athanasiou in late 2022 to initially diagnose and then successfully repair an Inguinal hernia. I was provided with all the information and support needed, both prior to and after the procedure. As quite an active person I was concerned about the time taken away from sports. My Athanasiou was able to guide me carefully so that I could maintain my fitness by undertaking the right exercise at the right time. He listened carefully and always provided clear advice. His manner is both highly professional and caring.

Guy D

Mr Athanasiou recently carried out a Hernia repair on me.
From my Pre-Op consultation, Operation and final check up after 4 weeks I had first class treatment at all times.
Mr Athanasiou has a reassuring manner and I felt at ease throughout my dealings with him.


I recently had surgery for an extremely painful and serious hernia,
I feel so lucky, grateful and privileged that Mr Athanasiou was my consultant surgeon at such a stressful and anxious event.
Not only a highly accomplished surgeon, Mr Athanasiou is just such a thoroughly pleasant guy,
In summary, Mr Athanasiou, his secretary Hayley and team are peerless….


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