The inguinal hernia is the most common type of hernia for both men and women. People of all ages can develop an inguinal hernia, but the incidence is highest among males. The inguinal hernia, also known as a groin hernia, occurs when an organ like part of the intestine protrudes through an opening in the lower abdomen. Inguinal hernias are common, and fixable, but can be dangerous if left unattended to.
The collaborative team of board-certified surgeons at Hernia Surgery Los Angeles are experts in treating hernias, and specialize in the most accurate diagnosis and the best possible treatment options for inguinal hernias.
What Is an Inguinal Hernia?
An inguinal hernia occurs when part of an organ (most commonly the intestines) protrudes through the inguinal canal. This is located in the groin region where the thigh meets the lower abdomen. There are two types of inguinal hernias, direct inguinal hernia and indirect inguinal hernia. They both occur in the same region of the body but have slightly different origins.
During normal human development, a natural weakness in the internal inguinal ring is created within the inguinal canal. Afterward, this area of weakness may develop into a hernia if it doesn’t seal properly.
Both inguinal hernia types may have similar appearance and symptoms, but distinguishing between the two is clinically essential. In order to receive appropriate treatment, it is important to seek the medical attention of a hernia expert for proper diagnosis.
- Indirect Inguinal Hernia – This type of inguinal hernia causes the part of the intestine to move through the internal inguinal canal and through the inguinal ring. This is same pathway that the testes took during fetal development. This type of hernia can commonly enter the scrotum. The indirect inguinal hernia may occur at any age.
- Direct Inguinal Hernia – This hernia occurs through a weakness in the abdominal wall. This occurs slightly offset of the indirect inguinal hernia location. The direct inguinal hernia rarely enters the scrotum. It most often only affects older patients, due to a weakening of the abdominal wall over time.
Inguinal Hernia Symptoms
Common symptoms of an inguinal hernia include pain in the groin region and the presence of a lump of varying sizes. Usually, the presence of a lump is more noticeable when straining, standing up, or coughing. There may also be pain associated with such actions as lifting heavy objects, bending over, or when you cough. Men with an indirect inguinal hernia may experience a protrusion of the organ into the scrotum, creating a visible bulge, pain, and excess swelling.
As with any hernia, it’s important to seek expert medical attention when the first signs of a possible hernia emerge. They may not always be that obvious, so if you even suspect you may have a hernia, a preemptive visit to Hernia Surgery Los Angeles is advised.
Inguinal Hernia Treatment
In most cases, surgery is the only cure for a hernia. Sometimes hernias need to be removed due to the potential problems they can pose for the rest of your body. Strangulation is one of the most common potential problems. Strangulation occurs when a hernia tightly traps part of the intestine, effectively cutting off the blood supply. This can pose dire health implications and requires immediate surgery.
With some hernias, the physician may decide to delay a hernia operation if it isn’t bothering you, and instead elect to monitor your situation. If surgery is required, there are two main techniques for removing an inguinal hernia.
- Traditional hernia repair – This method involves creating an incision at the site of the hernia and repairing it with stitches or using a sheet of reinforcing synthetic mesh. The incision site is then closed up. With a low hernia recurrence rate, this is a successful method of hernia repair. Patient recovery may be up to a couple weeks.
- Laparoscopic hernia repair – This method is the latest, most advanced technique for fixing inguinal hernias. This method is done using a tiny camera called a laparoscope. Instead of one large incision, laparoscopic hernia repair requires three very small incisions. Through these incisions, the surgeon is able to utilize the tiny camera to reach and repair the hernia in the most minimally invasive way possible. The recovery time from laparoscopic hernia repair is much quicker than the traditional method with far less post-procedure pain. This method also has a very low recurrence rate. At the Hernia Surgery center of Excellence in Los Angeles, our surgeons are experts at laparoscopic hernia repair.
The team of surgeons at Hernia Surgery Los Angeles specializes in using the latest and most advanced procedures for treating inguinal hernias. With world-renowned hernia care, our doctors will find the proper diagnosis and come up with the best possible treatment options.
Contact a Hernia Expert in Los Angeles Today
It’s important to know the warning signs and symptoms of inguinal hernias. Inguinal hernias can become very disruptive and painful if left untreated. If you suspect you may have a hernia, please fill out our online contact form or call (888) 418-2082 today to schedule an appointment. At Hernia Surgery Los Angeles, we provide the best, most advanced hernia treatment available.
Next, learn about abdominal hernias.