Inguinal hernia repair 

Introduction 

Hernia: animation

This animation explains how a hernia occurs and the procedures used to treat it

Media last reviewed: 14/11/2013

Next review due: 14/11/2015

Other types of hernia

For information on other types of hernia see:

A hernia occurs when an internal part of the body pushes through a weakness in the muscle or surrounding tissue wall.

Your muscles are usually strong and tight enough to keep your intestines and organs in place, but a hernia can develop if there are any weak spots.

What is an inguinal hernia?

An inguinal (pronounced "ingwanal") hernia is the most common type of hernia. The hernia can appear as a swelling or lump in your groin, or as an enlarged scrotum (the pouch containing the testicles). The swelling may be painful.

The lump will often appear when you are lifting something and disappear when you lie down.

What causes an inguinal hernia?

An inguinal hernia usually occurs when fatty tissue or a part of your bowel, such as the intestine, pokes through into your groin at the top of your inner thigh.

It pushes through a weak spot in the surrounding muscle wall (the abdominal wall) into the inguinal canal. The inguinal canal is a channel through which blood vessels to the testicles pass in men and through which the round ligament (the ligament surrounding the womb) passes in women.

Inguinal hernias occur mainly in men. Most are thought to be due to ageing. This is because as you get older, the muscles surrounding your abdomen (tummy) can become weaker.

Inguinal hernias can sometimes appear suddenly due to strain on the abdomen, such as straining on the toilet if you have constipation or carrying and pushing heavy loads. They have also been linked to having a persistent, heavy cough.

When is surgery needed?

Inguinal hernias can be repaired using surgery to push the bulge back into place and strengthen the weakness in the abdominal wall.

The operation will only usually be recommended if you have a hernia that causes severe or persistent symptoms, or if any serious complications develop.

Complications that can develop as a result of an inguinal hernia include:

  • obstruction – where a section of the bowel becomes stuck in the inguinal canal, causing nausea, vomiting and stomach pain, as well as a painful lump in the groin
  • strangulation – where a section of bowel becomes trapped and its blood supply is cut off; this requires emergency surgery within hours to release the trapped tissue and restore its blood supply so it does not die

Surgery will get rid of the hernia and prevent any serious complications, although there is a chance of it returning after the operation.

What happens during surgery?

There are two ways that an inguinal hernia repair can be performed:

  • open surgery – where one cut is made to allow the surgeon to push the lump back into the abdomen
  • keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery – a less invasive but more difficult technique where several smaller cuts are made, allowing the surgeon to use various special instruments to repair the hernia

There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods. The type of surgery you have will depend on which method suits you and your surgeon’s experience.

You should be able to go home the same day or the day after surgery. It's important to follow the hospital's instructions on how to look after yourself. This includes eating a good diet to avoid constipation, caring for the wound and not straining yourself too soon.

Most people make a full recovery from inguinal hernia repair within six weeks, although many people are able to return to driving, work and light activities within two weeks.

Read more about how an inguinal hernia repair is performed and recovering from an inguinal hernia repair.

Are there any risks from the operation?

An inguinal hernia repair is a routine operation with very few risks. However, up to 1 in every 10 hernias will recur at some point after surgery, with around 1 in every 50 recurring within two years.

Other potential complications of inguinal hernia repair include:

  • blood or fluid building up in the space left by the hernia (this will usually get better without treatment)
  • painful swelling and bruising of the testicles or base of the penis in men
  • pain and numbness in the groin area caused by a nerve being damaged or trapped during surgery

Complications are more likely if you are over 50 or you have another illness, such as heart disease or breathing problems.

Page last reviewed: 15/10/2013

Next review due: 15/10/2015

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Comments

The 69 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

GalvinOnTheWing said on 28 October 2014

I had an inguinal hernia repair done privately at the Clementine Churchill Hospital in Harrow 10 days ago.
All went well, excellent care and service by the consultant and the hospital. Had surgery at 1pm, left the hospital around 8pm. Some residual pain for a few days dealt with by painkillers. Went for a walk on day 4 post op. Back at work (desk based) on day 8. Still healing and uncomfortable but mobile and driving again.
I will be following the surgeon's instructions of no gym, no Pilates and no cycling for 6 weeks!

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Kenski said on 12 October 2014

Had 2 inguinal hernia repaired 5 days ago .... One was a new one, other was a repair to one done 21 years ago.
Work was done by NHS Newcastle, surgeon and nurses/staff were excellent, (day surgery - TAPP method).
Minimum pain .... Liking having a sore back ... Ok when not moving... But soreness on moving.
Use painlkillers as prescribed, 5 days on moving about ok.
Only problem was nausea due to General Anaesthetic ...
quickly cured by anti-sick medication.
Have some loose fit underwear & trousers for afterwards ! Note : I've used braces with trousers instead of belt.
60 year old male ... Not overweight, normal fitness.

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Dave Bla said on 04 October 2014

I had my inguinal hernia repaired 11 days ago at Day Surgery St Marys hospital Isle of Wight. I cannot praise enough the surgeon, Anaesthetist, Nurses and staff for their care and efficiency from arrival at 0730 to departure PM.
I've had little or no pain since the open surgery under general anaesthetic and when the District Nurse checked my dressing 6 days later it was clean and required no further dressing. I felt able to drive after 3 days - but waited a further 3 days to drive and another 3 to go shopping. I walk fairly short distances slowly. My operation site just feels a bit sore but otherwise OK and I'm recovering well. (hope I am not tempting providence!)
I am 81 years of age but fit and I am not overweight.
I hope this gives confidence to anyone awaiting this surgical procedure

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HeinzKiosk said on 30 September 2014

Now 15 days since my open surgery procedure so in reverse order: Feeling fully fit now and I would recommend this surgery to anyone who is reasonably fit.

Yesterday I was signed off by surgeon to return to normal exercise, obviously building up with care to full sporting activity again. Procedure seems completely successful. A slight ridge where the (very clean) cut has healed nicely. This is normal and will go down with time he says.

After 10 days there was very little pain/discomfort any more. Started driving again, but could probably have restarted driving sooner. No numbness either. Quite a bit of itching!

After 7 days no longer having to gingerly get in and out of chairs/bed. Started taking dogs for walk again (not very well behaved, so they pull on the lead but no problems). Sharing bed with spouse again,

After 6 days some bruising to "privates" appeared, but no associated discomfort, apparently it is normal for bruising to take a while to come through from inside.

After 4 days well enough to go out on a shopping trip with spouse without any particular fear of pain.

After 2 days came off painkillers. Very surprised to be this comfortable so quickly as I have a low pain threshold usually (a wimp, basically). Changed the dressing and was astonished at how clean and neat everything looked.

Morning after surgery ate normally and no problems with eating since then. Felt a bit dozy and sore through the painkillers. Alternated codeine and paracetomol through the day at 4 hour intervals, with one more dose when waking up in middle of night rather sore.

Came home after surgery, wanted my supper but after eating a fairly small amount felt very sick and went to bed (but didn't vomit). Very bloated and gassy. This can be fairly normal after GA I believe so I didn't worry.

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Janie1234 said on 24 September 2014

Hi there, I had a mesh hernia repaired about 2" above my belly button 7 days ago. I finally got the stitch tape off and now I notice I have a bump or swollen something just above my belly button. There is still a yellow bruise around my belly button and I am freaked right out that the hernia popped below the mesh. I didn't notice if it was there since the surgery as I was avoiding touching the area. Today was finally a good day since the surgery and now I am panic. Can someone help me? I will call my surgeon tomorrow but would rather be able to sleep tonight. There is no pain even by touching. It just feels like it shouldn't be like that. thank you!

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Dave3478 said on 18 September 2014

7 days now since my open mesh inguinal hernia surgery. Stopped pain killers at day 4. Area where hernia was still has large bulge doctor assured me today that everything is fine and that this is just hematoma and will clear but wants to keep an eye on it as can cause infection. Slight pain if I try and walk too fast or over do it a bit, does hurt getting in and out of car but mine is very low to the ground so that doesn't help. Appart from that everything seems fine, so if your having it done soon don't worry it's not that bad.

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HeinzKiosk said on 18 September 2014

Commenting about 72 hours after procedure. Surgeon recommended open surgery rather than laparoscopic as I am reasonably fit and healthy 55yo and not overweight. Came off painkillers after 48 hours and slept through the night without them. Changed dressing yesterday and was startled at the cleanliness and neatness of the wound. Still rather sore and careful moving about and will report back later on how fast this improves.

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10Kstepper said on 17 September 2014

I had a laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair at a North East hospital yesterday. I read quite a few online comments about the procedure and went into the whole thing with some trepidation. My personal experience has been unremarkable so far.
My first experience of a general anaesthetic was rather pleasing it has to be said. Waking up from the GA was a little jarring and seeing three wound dressings brings reality back to you very quickly. There is some obvious discomfort as the operation meds wear off but I wouldn't say that my pain was anything like as extreme as some reports maintain and has been controlled well by paracetamol and codeine. Nurses and doctors were all great (thank you!) and I was discharged that day.
As for today, there is some discomfort particularly when getting up on to my feet but slow and gentle walking is not proving too difficult. One of the main issues for me has been going for a pee, which has proved something of a challenge at times. I understand that this is not unusual following this type of procedure and has been getting easier. Other than that the advice is to take things easy which I'm going to be following.
In short, don't stress yourself too much about this procedure!

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Dave3478 said on 13 September 2014

I'm a 36 year old male just had open mesh repair for left inguinal hernia 72 hours later still in pain and very numb but can walk short distances and get up and down stairs. Getting in and out of bed is probably the worst. Area where hernia was very swollen and full of fluid apparently this is normal and my body will absorb it in the coming weeks. Hoping to go back to work on light duties in a week. Will update this after 7 days.

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Racing Rat said on 06 September 2014

I'm a 66 year old male who had an open inguinal hernia repair 72 hours ago. I really think that the success of this procedure depends on the fitness of the patient and the quality of the surgeon.
I had my operation in a private hospital but I did make sure that I was fit for the procedure.
I'm now off pain killers and will shortly be returning to work. Don't believe all the horror stories on this site - just make sure that you get a good surgical team. I'm taking the advice of other contributors not to over do things for the next 4 weeks or so.

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melissa_web said on 16 August 2014

I'm a 19 year old female and I have recently gone through inguinal hernia repair procedure and I can honestly say I was worrying over nothing. This was the first time I have ever gone through any medical procedure at all really so I was a little worried about the general anesthetic. However the operation itself lasted less than an hour and i was out of the day surgery about an hour and a half later! When I woke up I was greeted by a nurse straight away and taken to my recovery room, given a cup of tea and a bit of food and i came round very quickly. When i first traveled home there wasn't much pain, but today on the day after my surgery I am a little sore and I am having a little trouble getting around. They give you plenty of pain killers though and I was written off work for three weeks so no complaints! Although the whole idea is slightly daunting I'm glad I went through with it after having the hernia for around 7 years! No need to worry at all :)

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Mortehoe said on 25 July 2014

Been waiting since feb14 and it's July not even had scan I'd say go private GP is a dead loss be surprised if this get posted as it seems anti nhs comments redacted previously

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Mortehoe said on 25 July 2014

Useless GP took 6 months to diagnose saying it's trapped nerve or arthritis what's this bump when I cough ? now been wait ing 5 weeks for scan physio says it's a belter and the pain I feel is the tearing apart. Stop exercising. And put life on hold sorry can't do that family to support and carer for My Mum

Forget GP go private and end the pain

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Samako9 said on 16 July 2014

I'm a 23 year old male (which is unusually young to have a hernia) who recently underwent and inguinal scrotal hernia. After reading a few horror stories on here I wasn't exactly looking forward to the op. After first visiting my gp I was seen by a consultant and booked in for the operation all within 10 weeks. The op went well and I was out within the day. I will admit the first week after the Op was a nightmare and not exactly comfortable but I was up and walking about that week as its good to get out and about. 8 weeks on I still have a bit of pain round the scar but that will obviously take a bit of time to settle. Good luck to anyone having this op I'm happy I got it done an can get on with life without having an annoying hernia popping through!

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robertito said on 09 July 2014

An inguinal hernia is often incredibly painful, as others have described. The NHS requires a hospital consultation for which you may have to wait up to six weeks, then a similar wait for surgery (if they agree to do it, which they may not if you are elderly). I could not bear the wait so I decided to go to a specialist private clinic near Oxford. Excellent service, thoroughly recommended. Of course it's expensive, if you can't afford it simply save on other expenses, delay that new car for a year or cancel holidays.

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Klr88 said on 27 June 2014

I'm a 25 yr old female & underwent an open inguinal hernia repair with mesh 2 days ago, as an emergency admission. I work in healthcare, and I never anticipated to be struggling this much. I am in agony! Reading some of these comments is reassuring me that it will get better but my word at the moment I am just about immobile with the pain. Regular paracetamol, ibuprofen and codeine and dreading toileting for a 'No2' so bought some laxatives too. Fingers crossed things improve!!

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0Harry1 said on 20 April 2014

Hi all, I am a male and had a inguinal hernia repair (the second time) just five weeks ago, on the right hand side.

The scare is 8cm ish long and it is still massive swollen in that area where my scar is, also allways i need Rennie for stomach .(I can go on toilet with no pobs for a small or big business ).

16 days later I went to the A&E (Hospital) and they gave me Penicillin (to take it 10 days) but the selling is after the 10 days still there. ---
I was in he hospital for 3 hours why they didn't made a CT scan ?.
--------------------------
Now 5 days ago they scaned it -and the result is there are over 1/34 inch high (75-100 ml) water (and that from the begining of March) .

After the scan they send me home and told me they will send the scan result to my GP . What on godes earth have the GP to do with that ? Why they didn't send me strait to the A&E ?

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helper55 said on 16 April 2014

I have had a double done (15th April) Seeing doctor to surgery 4 months so cannot complain.
My right side was done in 1990 but re-occurred with my left side worse.
Could not fault NHS staff, had a chat with surgeon, anaesthetist, deputy anaesthetist, 2 nurses, blood pressure taken(repeat from pre-op) went in surgery at 11 woke up at 12, always a nurse on hand for any needs I had couldn’t be more helpful. Got up a bit painfully 1 hour after waking, they wanted to make sure I could pass urine, so 7 cups of water and 2 cups of tea (plus a yoghurt for sore throat) and it worked. Medication issued and scissors and plasters for staple removal by local health centre in 10 days.
Yes I ache a bit, mainly a line from centre of tummy to the left which is to be expected, trying not to take medication if I can, Ibuprofen and co demine and it is a time thing now to get well. Advised by surgeon to not do much for 6 weeks no lifting but move often to dispel the chance of getting a blood clot.
All in all good service from the NHS.

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benaigen said on 14 April 2014

Hi Everyone... I had a bilateral inguinal hernia repair by open surgery just over three years ago. When I woke up from the operation I had a massive pain going down the inside of my left leg. The surgeon told me that it would go away and over the next month I must admit it did ease.
Sadly it never went away and since then it has gradually got a lot worse. I have pain every day in my groin and from my knee to all around my ankle. I occasionally get some relief but that only lasts for an hour or two, or I might even get a whole day sometimes.
I have tried lots of different drugs for pain relief but none of them seem to work. My stomach has become very intolerant and I seem to get lots of side effects. My quality of life is not very good these day. I would consider myself to be a fairly healthy and reasonably fit 65 year old man, but can anyone help me.
I have also tried acupuncture with no great success. Has anyone got any suggestions, or does anyone know of any surgeons who have had success in un-trapping nerves as feel sure that is what my problem is.
Help...

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0Harry1 said on 07 April 2014

Hi all, I am a male and had a inguinal hernia repair (the second time) just five weeks ago, on the right hand side.

The scare is 8cm ish long and it is still massive swollen in that area where my scar is, also allways i need Rennie for stomach .(I can go on toilet with no pobs for a small or big business ).

16 days later I went to the A&E (Hospital) and they gave me Penicillin (to take it 10 days) but the selling is after the 10 days still there. ---
I was in he hospital for 3 hours why they didn't made a CT scan ?
ys
I still use painkillers 5 weeks in row ,walking is painful, I can' sit strait not even on the chair , bed, or sofa-- most time I am stay the bed, or on the sofa.
I make pic where I had my op. every 3 days for my ref.

What now ?

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Helen Ditton said on 25 March 2014

neal65 - my husband is 55 yrs and he also has been diagnosed with an inguinal hernia, but told he is "too young" for an operation.

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janeyray said on 22 March 2014

Hi all, I am a 43 year old female and had a bilateral inguinal hernia repair by open surgery just over two weeks ago, the right hand side was said to be a but more tricky than the left due to some scar tissue as a result of previous surgery, however the right side has seemed to heal quite well and feels much improved but the left is still really painful and very swollen. I went to see my GP who gave me some antibiotics as a precaution really and after 3 day have felt no relief so its unlikely that an infection was the cause, the area is very numb yet painful if that makes any sence, also im having sharp stabbing pains in the groin. My question is anyone else feeling the same? It has been so much worse than I thought it would be. :( any advice would be greatly apreciated

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Ace Avatar said on 07 March 2014

A question for Andymozz - thanks for your comments; you've confirmed my thoughts and I'm hoping to find a good surgeon - it sounds like you found one & I'm wondering if you could provide a name and location for the person who successfully carried out your op?
Thanks again...

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Chris1967 said on 06 March 2014

Had a right sided inguinal hernia open mesh repair done on Monday under General anasthetic. Three days later, and I'm in absolute agony! I've developed a cough which hasn't helped as it feels like the stitches are ripping apart every time I cough. Trying to be as inactive as I can, but I am usually very active so this is hard. Hopefully, things can only get better over the next few days...

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oldpeter said on 22 February 2014

I'm a 67 year old male and I had a repair of my inguinal hernia on January 23rd - NHS at my local hospital. It was keyhole surgery, general anaesthetic, and I was in and out the same day. I experienced no pain and very little pain or discomfort since the operation. The bruising cleared within two weeks and I have three small marks which are gradually fading.
I cannot praise the whole team highly enough, from the pre-op assessment all the way through to the couple of hours on the ward after surgery.
I was terrified, having not had any surgery before, but everything was explained to me and I was reassured in a professional way.
It was four months between my diagnosis and my surgery and I think that's an acceptable time, so big thanks to the NHS!!

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Scottybw said on 04 February 2014

I had right side inguinal hernia surgery 11 days. It was open surgery under general anaesthetic. I'm 44 and generally fit and well. It was sore coming round from surgery but medication soon kicked in. The incision is 10cm long very neat. I found it harder to move around than I thought as it's very difficult not to use your abdominal muscles. I did not notice any bruising however it is still swollen in that area just below my scar which is horizontal. Still sore and painful at times with sharp pains. The area below the scar is also numb still.

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fastl said on 27 January 2014

My comment is for Andymozz. I am 2 weeks post-op and am having the nerve pain you describe. I was actually glad to see your post because I thought I had a serious setback but it is the same burning stabbing pain that you accurately described. Sitting still is my only relief. Hope you are doing better now

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Bristolweb said on 13 January 2014

I agree with ChrissieH get a second opinion Neil65. My GP had to apply for funding but that all came through pretty quickly and I've just had my op (Saturday 11th) all in all took about 4 months from first GP visit to op. Good luck know how you must be feeling...

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ChrissieH said on 07 January 2014

Reply to Neal65.

I find that very odd. (maybe you should change GP's).

I went to my GP who confirmed the hernia. An appointment was made to see the consultant and I have just had surgery (30th Dec '13) - just 3 months after first visiting my GP.

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Andymozz said on 01 January 2014

Hi I'm 53. Male. I had a open mesh bilateral inguinal hernia op in September. paid private because of the long waiting times on the NHS. I am so pleased I did, my surgeon was an expert in this field. Apparently because it's a common complaint the NHS let junior surgeons practice on you. My advice to anyone is read the horror stories on the net and learn from other peoples mistakes before making any decisions. My op went well I was left with two 8 in scars each side in my groin, I went home the next day, for the first 2 days I took pain killers, then the pain virtually went. I was walking daily to get the blood circulating and help the healing process, the hard sausage shaped things under the scars are called healing ridges, these will disappear after a few months. 10 days I went back for a check up and was given the ok. I had no pain. I was and still am numb ish both sides, unfortunately for me I over did things after 2 weeks and boy did I pay. Absolute agony on my right side, I couldn't wear any pants and only loose jogging bottoms,this went on for 5 weeks. The pain was like a burning stabbing sensation. I was eating pain killers. It was the nerves mending and coming back to life. It's 4 months now, I'm back mountain biking, hiking, and weight training, no pain. This is a painful op to have and unfortunately some people will never get over it so please take my advice and choose an expert surgeon who does hundreds of these ops every year. You wouldn't let just anyone service your car would you? Please feel free to ask me anything. I kept a diary for 3 months so can look back no problems. I hope this helps someone. Good luck

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neal65 said on 30 December 2013

I have been to see my doctor and he has confirmed that I have a hernia. He said that there is not a lot that can be done as the nhs are not doing operations on all hernias. Is this correct as it is painfull when coughing or sneezing which can happen at anytime. I also work as a health care worker at this can be painfull when doing my duties at times. Can I ask to see someone who can advise me at what is available to me.

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raven1350 said on 28 December 2013

Does anyone have any post op exercises for a hernia?
I am sore but want to get fit again asap.
By the way going to the toilet is a nightmare, I have used half a bottle of lactulose already.

thanks

raven

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raven1350 said on 28 December 2013

mjwlw said on 14 December 2013

Hi Mate, I am 61 and had my op in Stamford on 23rd and I am already better. Everyone is different and each operation is unique but I would start asking questions NOW!
I am sore and my right side is heavily bruised but wow what a difference.

Best of luck

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mjwlw said on 14 December 2013

Hi, I'm a 63 yr male, 3 weeks ago I had an inguinal hernia op ( open wound ) at medway hospital, all went well, but I was discharged 2 hours later, with 2 sheets of info about my recovery.Which, in my opinion was not fully explained, 23 days late, I am still suffering, I attempted to drive my car for the first time yesterday, but after 10 mins, I was too painful,so I returned home. I am taking pain killers, but not doing much good. I understand that It will take a while, but one thing concerns me, which, I hope someone will help me with. The bruising has gone, but, I have a numb area by the op site, and, a hard swelling under the skin, which is painful when sitting,. It extends from above the scar, down to my groin . I went to my gp.but after a brief examination, he said it will take time, but did not explain what the cause was.Help me someone.

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Andrewj6 said on 04 December 2013

as an aside- people have also posted comments about recovery on the link on this site about recovery.

I had my inguinal done on the NHS. Staff were helpful and though I was kept in for observation I thought that 2 weeks later I'd be perfectly back to normal. 11 weeks on I still get sharp stabbing pains daily several times - and numbness around the scar. The worst bit was not having any indication that things might take longer than 2 weeks (my local GP was helpful, saying it could take months, which was reassuring)

I can't find any NHS study but there's one by the Swedish equivalent: "After 24 to 36 months, nearly 30% of the patients reported some form of pain or discomfort and close to 6% of all patients reported inguinal pain of such intensity that it disturbed their concentration in activities of daily life during the week preceding follow-up. By contrast, the 6-year cumulative incidence of reoperation for recurrence was reported to be 4.5%.4 Furthermore, this pain caused social disability, interfering with such activities as walking, standing, and sitting in 11.3% to 14.2% of the surgically treated patients"

(need to google 'Risk Factors for Long-term Pain After Hernia Surgery')

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rayshope said on 05 November 2013

I registered with my new doctor and mentioned my inguinal hernia (was repaired when I was 15 which had lasted 40+ years). I received a referral form right away, got an appointment 3 weeks later, was offered surgery 4 weeks after that but had to request a slightly longer wait as I am self-employed and if I don't work, I don't have any income. The doctor was very helpful and scheduled the surgery for 8 weeks later. I had the surgery yesterday and am at home recovering. All staff at the hospital were brilliant, caring, considerate and friendly. I really couldn't fault them at all. What I don't understand is why john_boy9 had to pay for his surgery - I could not have afforded this, and shouldn't NHS services be standard from coast to coast? I feel really lucky.

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paul shields said on 16 October 2013

i got a direct inguinal hernia from overdoing sit ups in the gym...i thought it may get better on its own...after a month of no sign of recovery ...i made an appointment to see my GP...(7 days wait) so i decided to try and cure it my self ...by fasting eating small amounts wholemeal toast and drinking complan a diet designed to shrink the intestines..i am spending most of my time lying on my back with my heels close to my buttocks...and using a chinese medicine healing lotion called dit da yow (pronounced like cow)..after 1 day the rupture closed... sleeping in the fetal position ...with the good side down helped...today is day 4 the rupture is still closed i am taking it very easy holding my guts in with my hands when i walk...it seems to be healing very well....

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John_Boy9 said on 29 September 2013

I had self-funded TEP laparoscopic surgery on 27th September to repair bilateral inguinal and femoral hernias; the NHS would not fund a consultation and therefore surgery was also not funded. A surgeon carried out the work at Spire Bristol and I couldn't be more pleased with the results. Fourteen hours after discharge I easily walked nearly a mile and half and nearly doubled that on the following day. No pain and, it's removed discomfort and lack of mobility (particularly on steps) in my right leg and knee.

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John_Boy9 said on 22 September 2013

Are the NHS still funding inguinal hernia repairs, or does it depend on the particular Clinical Commissioning Group? In Bristol there apparently isn't funding to see a consultant let alone surgery; it's a truss and "watchful waiting". I have a bilateral inguinal hernia that has enlarged in the past 4 weeks and the pain on gently pushing the main bulge causes me to wince. Yet the only option is as a private patient for consultation and subsequent surgery.

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Jonner06 said on 16 September 2013

gab1 you are a very lucky chap to have been seen so quickly. I was diagnosed approx 8 week ago and received an appointment in the post for the end of October. 5 weeks ago I was then referred a second time as a surgical priority following a worsening of my symptoms. I am now awaiting a new appointment in the post, and am confronted with having to contact my GP again as I am developing symptoms on the other side. Tricky old spell for an active type into jogging and weight training reduced to struggling to walk any distance, but clearly my local Worcestershire NHS trust just can't offer the level of care experienced elsewhere. Just got to be patient, rest when I can, and dream of putting my trainers back on post-op, getting back to working properly, and doing my bit of voluntary work with a local homeless charity. No point in getting stressed, but clearly private is the way go when confronted by a two tier system. My turn on the table will come......

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gab1 said on 25 August 2013

I am a 50 year old male and was diagnosed with a inguinal hernia 4 week ago. I had a keyhole operation 4 days ago in Colchester and am at home now recovering .
The first 2 days I was a little tender but by day three I was walking around the house as normal with no pain at all.
The care I received from the hospital was fantastic and I can't praise the NHS enough.

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Simon_29 said on 11 July 2013

I'm a 29 year old male and had an open mesh repair on a inguinal hernia 48 hrs ago. The operation went well and I was discharged a few hours later. I was in a moderate amount of discomfort for the first day but now most of the pain has gone except when I move in a particular way. I have suffered a swollen and bruised testicle and some swelling where the hernia originally was but this was expected. I was up and walking about the next day with no issues (although being very careful not to do too much).

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sawyer said on 30 April 2013

i had a inguinal hernia repair 4 yrs had a few problems after surgery had to stay in for a few days. but now im getting pains when i wash my groin area and when i bend and when i cough and sneeze what does this mean ty

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denjane said on 22 April 2013

Hi ..i had abdominal plasic surgery in 92, years later hysterectomy, where i developed a hernia. this has been repaired 3 times, even putting gauze in to keep in place. The last year its popped back out and i have pain all the time. im wearing corset like pants to support it.....would surgery help again???

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schutzen said on 29 March 2013

I am 68, had a right lower abdomen Inguinal Hernia procedure March 2013. Decided to tough-out the discomfort as i did not have the intense pain i was led to believe. Refused the painkillers. The wound was healing very well some bruising on part of my Penis and scrotum,that all went in 2wks. However, i was over enthusiastic in wanting to get walking as a result i had tenderness around the wound, apparently i did too much. Am now on antibiotics for a possible fluid infection. So generally,Diet and moderate walking is the thing to concentrate on,post op.

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happyjack said on 03 February 2013

I am a 72 year old male.I had an inguinal hernia repair on 29.1.2013 at The RD&E hospital,Exeter,Knapp ward. I went for surgery(general anaesthetic) at midday and was home by 6pm.The following day I was out walking for about 30mins.The slight pain I experienced was controlled by the pain killers I was given.After two days it was no longer necessary to take any more. I only found this site after the event & I wonder how many of those who have reported adverse comments are in general good health otherwise. I.e, not overweight,non smokers & moderate drinkers as I feel these factors can have an effect on recovery. I realise it is early days yet, but so far my experience has been very positive..The handbook I was given does say there is a small percentage chance that it may return, or that I may experience some other problems. I would also like to say that I could not have been treated better if I had been staying in a 5 star hotel.If anyone is looking to "choose "a hospital I would have no hesitation in recommending the RD&E Exeter.

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oojimmyflip said on 28 October 2012

Hi, everyone here seems lucky extreemly lucky that they can have their inguinal hernia's repaired.
i am a 47 year old male and have a inguinal hernia in my right groin only it is quite low down, I have been told I shall have to live with it because the medication I am on to oprevent my blood from clotting will not be stopped tomoperate as it is to risky, the surgeons have lost theri bottle beyond theis point also there are agreat many complex veins and arteries in the Male pelvic area and nicking one of them could reduce function in my legs. so if youve had a great many DVT's or pulmonary emboli and are on meds for it dont be suprized if they tell you to live with it regardless of the possible dangers of doing so. I am aware of mione all of the time I feel my intestines twisting and turnning inside my pelvic area not a very nice feeling at all. I shall have to spend the rest of my life being very careful not to lift anything heavy that will agreviate it, I have quit smoking for a start 9 months ago feb 2012 and I don't cough very much anymore thank god. if I sneeze it strains it and I have to push in my groin area sneezing standing is much less painful than sneezing sitting down. driving can be uncormfortabe to but most of you probably know this already good luck to anyone gouing through this proceedure I really do hope it improoves your lives.

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Garner1986 said on 25 June 2012

hiya after visiting my doctor today ive been diagnosed as having an abdominal hernia im a 26 yr old male and up to now have been v healthy and am q worried about surgery especially after a few of yr comments i have had it for a while is surgery really necessary? i suppose im just worried that surgery may do me more harm than good ?

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CrossAlex said on 19 May 2012

Greatly appreciate all the candid comments.

It's only in the last couple of weeks that I've noticed a lump which was discovered by accident when I coughed while washing the groin area in the shower.
I'm 69 years young and greatly enjoy working full-time and wonder how long I can safely leave it before seeing my doctor?

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CPHShek said on 27 April 2012

I had a bilateral hernia repair (laproscopic) 6 weeks ago and I’ve been very appreciative of the comments on this and other sites. I had both my hernias for over 10 years (I’m 25 years old) and only waited so long as I didn’t want surgery at such a young age. But eventually the hernias were affecting my quality of life so I had no choice.

Here are some things I experienced that I hope will be useful to other people:

Do take all your prescribed meds (especially in the 1st week). I was kept in overnight because the anaesthetic totally wiped me out, and when I tried to get up in the middle of the night (after the anaesthetic had worn off) I was in so much pain I had a vasovagal collapse. The next few days in hospital weren’t comfy either, so I can’t imagine how I would’ve coped at home w/o an adjustable bed (seeing as this was supposed to be a day case).

Do expect to have a lot of “down time” as it is essentially abdominal surgery (both sides in my case). I learnt to use my arms a lot in the simple things like getting up from a chair, etc. Also I found eating prunes daily helped with the bowel movements (last thing you want to do is strain on the toilet post ab surgery).

In the first few weeks I had a lot of swelling down below and even in my thighs. Surgeon said it will take a few weeks to go away and sure enough it did – but it didn’t half make me depressed during the waiting period. These things you just have to give it time and trust that everything is healing.

It’s taken me 6 weeks to feel normal again and get by w/o pain meds (I had two “big hernias according to the surgeon). This surprised me as I was expecting to be fully fit at 2 weeks but it just goes to show you can’t rush these things.

All in all I’m very happy that I had this procedure done. I would encourage people to at least be referred to a specialist and ask for their expert opinion as to what to do (wait and see vs operation and open vs lap).

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Jaunty said on 19 March 2012

Read the "post-op papers" very carefully, when you are on sedatives you tend to ignore bodily functions except eating. Don't be like me, make sure your bowels are open,take light laxatives to get back into a normal routine. " Saves getting painful obstructions".

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tannedsam2010 said on 30 January 2012

Now been 6 weeks since my inguinal hernia repair. I had a local, and was fine for first 24 hours. Few days after that I could barely walk properly.

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Woodperry said on 28 January 2012

I went 12 months before I even realised that I had a double hernia. The bulging wasn't as pronounced as I was piling on the weight.

Being told that I needed surgery was the most mentally frightening thing that I have ever experienced in my life. I am not a good patient and don't do illness!

On the morning of my scheduled surgery I was examined, drawn on with a felt tip pen (they do that so there are no mistakes later when they cut into you) and then had a whole fluffy of specialists look at the 'rash' on my back and side.

Turned out that this was shingles (brought on my the stress) and they refused to operate.

The operation finally took place 6 months later and almost a year after I had been first diagnosed with a double inguinal hernia.

Being a bloke one is always trying to appear 'cool' and able to handle the situation whilst mentally climbing the walls trying to defuse all the panic going on inside.

About 45 mins before my scheduled time I was given a pre-med (supposedly to calm me down - which I don't think it did) and then I was wheeled (sitting upright in my bed trolley) into the pre-op room.

A charming guy who turned out to be the anaesthetist I had met previously said "don't worry we've done this operation thousands of times - I'll look after you and make sure that you are ok"

He then explained that he was going to put a small needle in the back of my hand so that he could control all the things that would help me through the operation.

I'm not a great fan of needles.

The catheter went into the back of my hand without any pain whatsoever and then he asked my who I favoured to win the World Cup (2010) and as I was about to answer him I woke up in bed 6 hours later!

Much of what followed has been written about my others on this site and I think that recovery is down to how you handle illness and what drive's you.

I was back to myself in about 3 weeks

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KenStevens said on 03 January 2012

My GP told me toay tht he thought it would be pointless to refer me for hernia surgery because I would be turned away because it is not painful enough, incarcerated or strangulated. Is this correct advice - has policy changed? The advice in the article above clearly suggests that surgery is the only option as it will not heal by itself.

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tannedsam2010 said on 22 December 2011

I had a left inguinal hernia. Had the surgery 14 days ago (Open mesh repair) and feel great now. First day was pretty painful.

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annalisaliddle25 said on 24 October 2011

I am a 25year ol women and have been diagnosed with an ingunal hernia, which is very uncommon for women to get as i keep hearing. I am on the waiting list for an operation to correct it, I was looking forward almost to this as I know i will benefit from the surgery in the long run, but having read a few comments from others on this site I am now concerned about the amount of pain I will be in after the operation, but I will try and keep brave as I'm sure the pain does not last forever

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40yrold Man said on 23 October 2011

Had a right inguinal hernia repair with mesh under local anaesthetic. I realised everyone had theirs under general, but don't have insurance. Surgery wasn't bad, felt some tugs and sticks, but I'm an old skater and ex-rally driver, so being an adrenaline junkie helped thru it. In fact my laughing disturbed the surgeon that they thought i was "narced" For 3 days after, was in pain, especially when sneezing. No amount of cuss-words would describe that pain, or the fear when you were about to sneeze. Get boxers or loose light clothing to wear above the cut. Anything with a belts or jeans (heavy) shorts, you will feel it. Drinks lots of water, eat prunes, eat your roughage on as you don't want to be constipated and have to strain in the toilet. Plus most pain meds they give you to take at home contain some narcotic or codeine, which bngs up the pipes. If you have a hairy arse, like me, get some wet wipes to avoid having to shower with the cut..really difficult.
I put some cellophane on a plastic bag, and wore it on my stomach like a shield above the cut to stop it from getting wet in the shower. Wash between your nuts and legs carefully as soap, disinfectants from surgery tend to accumulate here with the decreased washing and will leave you gamey.
Learn how to dress sitting down, getting up while holding onto chairs etc so as not to hurt your stitches.
You will feel like warmed over crap for the first 3 or 4 days, but trust me, it will get better and you will feel great. Forget about driving and lifting stuff, just relax fr a while.
Good Luck lads!

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CarpyDog said on 21 September 2011

all seems mostly doom and gloom,
Not so
I am nearly 60
I had mine 17 days ago, a General anaesthetic.
I was out for a short time had an hour or two's sleep then my wife collected me, I was answering work emails that afternoon, proper walking the following day and half an hour walks every day for a week then an 8 mile walk. Another week of half hour walks now I am back on my bike and driving after 2 weeks.
I was working 3 days after the op (I do work from home) and stopped taking all pills after 5 days as they were ruining my concentration

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CarpyDog said on 21 September 2011

all seems mostly doom and gloom,
Not so
I am nearly 60
I had mine 2½ weeks ago, a General anaesthetic.
I was out for a short time had an hour or two's sleep then my wife collected me, I was answering work emails that afternoon, proper walking the following day and ½ hour walks every day for a week then an 8 mile walk. Another week of ½ hour walks now I am back on my bike and driving after 2 weeks.
I was working 3 days after the op (I work from home) and stopped taking all pills after 5 days as they were ruining my concentration

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freddy8 said on 04 September 2011

I am a man in my late 50s diagnosed by my GP with a small inguinal hernia in March. I was referred to a specialist and had the operation in June. The operation was done by TAPP keyhole under a general anaesthetic, with an overnight stay, at a Spire Hospital paid for by the NHS. I was back to work two weeks after the operation and after a month I was 99% OK. Now, two months after the operation I am completely recovered.
As Stuart101 (below) I was quite concerned after reading some of the comments on this site. My heart goes out to the people with less good outcomes but my experience was overwhelmingly positive.
My advice is to get it done as quickly as possible as it only gets worse, ensure your surgeon is experienced in the type of operation he selects for you. And good luck.

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fiftyish and fit said on 23 August 2011

I had an open repair with mesh implant 1 week ago and have had no problems with pain since the operation taking a few ibuprofen more for anti-inflamitory reasons than pain. It's still a bit swollen but obviously if you get a good surgeon there's nothing to be worried about. My only problem is not knowing how much I can do without risking making it worse.
From talking to other people who have had it done the failure rate of keyhole surgery appears to be a lot higher but it seems they are not supposed to tell us that!

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stuart101 said on 08 August 2011

I was due for surgery and after reading some of the comments here became very worried,
all i can say is that i need not have been worried at all.
I had a left side inguinal hernia repair with open surgery done on friday and now writing this 3 days later.
Hospital staff were excellent and made me feel calm, the surgery itself was a breeze being under general anesthetic
and the pain i have experianced since has been nothing like the horror stories you read.
My advice to anyone thinking of surgery is just go get it done much better to get it out of the way than spend
months even years thinking about it.

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Barkey said on 13 June 2011

I'm a 21 Y.O male and have a inguinal hernia on my right side. It's not too bad, the hernia isn't too big. It sits in the testical region and doesn't cause me too much bother, altho indegestion and alot of physical work can cause it to bulge and become uncomfortable, but nothing too bad, more annoying than anything else.
I was sent to the Golden Jubilee hospital in Clydebank to have my op. Altho I pulled out on the day because the surgeon (who'd i'd never met before) informed me of a procedure that he was going to do (which i'd never heard of before) which was to cut a certain nerve in the groin region (to avoid it getting caught up in stitching, which is a less than 1% chance of happening anyway) which would lead to permanant numbness down the left side of my groin. After hearing this I got the hell out of there and was very very angry at being sooooo ill-informed.
I'm considering going back to my original consultant up in Hairmyeres East Kilbride who told me that he would carry out the operation (He never carried out the operation in the first place due to waiting list times) and also he doesn't cut the nerve!!! :).
I'm only considering getting it done simply because it's probably the right thing to do since it would need done anyway.
Is it worth it or should I just leave it?

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yanto 2 said on 21 March 2011

Having had my operation just 12 mnths ago i now have to undergo a second op,either the first hasnt worked or a new hole has developed,as for pre and post op pain,yes in both cases it hurts like hell but hey its better than not having it dealt with,i was alittle scared to undergo the op at first and it took me 2 attemps to go and get it sorted,but after the op i was glad i had it done,although having the staples removed afterwards was an eye watering moment,will update this post when ive visted my consultant today,fingers (and legs crossed) .

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Haditdone said on 30 January 2011

My hernia was caused due to me lifting a much too heavy weight. I had 2 inguinal hernias (the surgeon told me this after the operation) at the same time located very close to each other. The lump was large and if left untreated it would move into my scrotum and would require emergency surgery. As I did not fancy this prospect, I had to go ahead with the surgical repair. I had the operation. It's obviously general anaesthetic. For my part, I was in quite a bit of pain up to two weeks after the operation. But now everthing is ok. No pain.

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RainhamRon said on 17 January 2011

Over about 10 years, I have had 3 inguinal hernia repairs done ( 1 was done twice). I have to say that the benefits must be judged by the amount of suffering you were in before. In my case, I was in considerable discomfort before the operation, and although I do have to agree that immediately afterwards, I was in a lot of pain, overall the benefits have far outweighed the pain suffered. A few things that no one warned me before hand, were my testicles being very swollen, going black for a few weeks, and being extremely painful, neither was I warned of the possibility of developing a hydrocele (which I did, and was a much more painful repair ). Not only can I say unequivocally that I would have it done again, but as the second one failed after about 4 years, I did exactly that.
I am told, that even if the hernia does not give you a lot of discomfort, it will probably get worse unless repaired, so I would still say have it done sooner rather than later

in summery,

Did it hurt? in my case yes, quite a lot, but only for a few weeks. having said that , I didn't take the pain killers as they make me feel so bad.

in retrospect, would I have had it done if I knew then what I know now? Yes, and I did.

Any advice? Yes, don't do too much too soon, but do try to stand up straight as soon as you can. be very careful of wound infections, they are really bad news ( from bitter experience). and ask about keyhole as opposed to open surgery.

Its is not a pain free procedure by a long way, but it is bearable, the pain does not last forever, and i was much more able to lead a normal life after I had had it repaired.

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redyokim said on 06 January 2011

I had an very small Hernia.
To remove the uncomfortable feeling of it, I agreed to an operation (open surgery - mesh implant) in April 2010.
Yes - the hernia is repaired - so far the operation was successful and was so marked in the the hospitals statistic.

What nobody and also not his site was and is telling, that there is a possibility of 5 - 20 % of chronic pain after open surgery (depending which hospital, which statistic or doctor you consult).
So far the so successful straight forward operation impaired my life , if not made it sometimes nearly unbearable.
I have pain when moving around, using stairs and especially sitting - especially at a writing table - computer, so far about work.
Sex and going to the toilet are also painful.
I do not know how many pain killer I did take after the operation- side effects and my liver health concern me.
I had in Nov. 2010 a second operation to correct a redundant piece of mesh.
However the pain was not removed.
I am waiting now for another referral to a pain clinic.

Before the operation I was not enough clear about the possible side effects of this so routine operation.

In my opinion this operation is not safe enough.
Yes thousand are operated every year - but how much is 5% of several thousands?
At least each patient should have enough information about possible side effects.

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hungover said on 23 November 2010

although mine have not failed- if I had been aware of the pain that i would experience years later i would not have had the operation.

Pre-op i had a very very slight bulge and no pain, post op I was still taking tramadol after two weeks. 3 years later I can't ride a bike or do sit ups.

I had been told that at the end of the day I would walk out of the hospital, crawling would have been a more accurate term...

Then again though, i had a friend who had had key hole instead and he experiences no pain at all

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westone said on 15 September 2010

It would be more helpful if the actual failure rate was shown. My inguinal hernia repair only lasted a matter of weeks.

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