Inguinal Hernias: Is Surgery Necessary, or Can You Wait? Your Top Questions Answered
An inguinal hernia is the most common type of hernia, and it affects both adults and children. Most of the time, inguinal hernias don’t come with any symptoms, although they will often appear as a swelling or lump on the groin, which is more noticeable when you are straining or standing up. But even if an inguinal hernia doesn’t usually come with symptoms, some people choose to have surgery for it before the problem gets worse. If you have been diagnosed with inguinal hernia, should you go for surgery, even if it doesn’t come with symptoms, or should you ‘wait and see’, especially if it doesn’t interfere too much with your life? Here’s all you need to know about inguinal hernias: is surgery necessary, or can you wait? Your top questions answered.
The points you should remember
- An inguinal hernia will not go away or disappear on its own, and it is only with surgery that you can repair it
- Most people will be able to delay having surgery for several months, even years, and some individuals may never need it if their hernia is small. If your inguinal hernia is still small and there are no symptoms, you and your specialist may simply decide to watch it and see if any symptoms occur
- In time, a hernia can become bigger as the abdominal muscle gets weaker, and more of the abdominal tissue can bulge through
- Most specialists will recommend hernia repair as it can prevent a potential problem known as strangulation. Strangulation can occur when a portion of the intestine or some fatty tissue becomes trapped within the hernia, and its blood supply then gets cut off
- If you are planning to wear a truss or corset to hold the hernia in, talk to your specialist first. These gadgets or devices are not usually recommended for hernia treatment and may even result in more harm.
Why you should opt for repair
Hernia repair London experts will agree that hernia repair is your best option because it prevents a serious issue known as strangulation, as already mentioned. Strangulation is the result of a portion or bit of the intestine or fatty tissue becoming trapped inside the hernia. Once it is trapped, its blood supply will get cut off, and it will die, causing pain and extreme danger as well.
Also, if you have your hernia repaired, it can relieve you of pain as well as discomfort, and it will remove the lump or bulge in the groin area.
Your options for surgery
You have two basic options for hernia surgery, as the hernia surgery London experts from The London Surgical Group attest. The first option is for you to go through open surgery, and this is where the surgeon repairs the hernia with a cut or incision made in the groin area. This kind of surgery doesn’t come with any risks, although the period of recovery can last from six to eight weeks, and it entails a few days’ stay in hospital.
Your second option is laparoscopic surgery, and this is where the surgeon will make some small cuts and insert a laparoscope into the belly. They will then use surgical instruments to repair the inguinal hernia and insert the tools through the other small cuts made. It has a shorter recovery period of about two weeks.