The main symptom of an inguinal hernia is a bulge in the area of the groin or scrotum. This bulge may form over a period of weeks or months, or it may appear suddenly after strenuous activity. In many cases, the bulge is accompanied by pain, swelling, discomfort, burning and a feeing of heaviness in the area of the hernia. This type of hernia will typically flatten when gently pushed into place, or when the patient lies down.
In rare cases, an inguinal hernia may also be accompanied by severe pain, nausea and vomiting. These are signs of a strangulated hernia, which is a life-threatening complication that occurs when a piece of the patient’s bowel becomes trapped within the hernia (incarceration), resulting in a compromised blood supply (strangulation). This is considered a medical emergency and requires immediate evaluation and emergency surgery.
What causes an inguinal hernia?
Men are more likely to experience inguinal hernias because of the way the male fetus develops. In male babies, the testicles form within the abdomen and move down the inguinal canal into the scrotum. Shortly after birth, the inguinal canal closes almost completely. However, in some cases the canal does not close properly, leaving a weakened area where an inguinal hernia may occur.
In other cases, the inguinal hernia develops later in life from increased pressure in the abdomen due to chronic coughing, straining to have a bowel movement, trauma, lifting heavy objects, excessive fluid in the abdomen, or being overweight. In women, an inguinal hernia may develop due to increased pressure in the abdomen during pregnancy.
How are inguinal hernias treated?
It is important to note that inguinal hernias will not repair themselves, and will likely continue to grow and worsen over time. Surgery is the only way to fully resolve the condition.
There are two distinct surgical options our experts use to treat inguinal hernias: open hernia surgery or laparoscopic hernia repair. The procedure we use will be dependent on the exact nature and size of your hernia, as well as your medical history. It all goes towards providing among the most effective inguinal hernia repair Los Angeles and Beverly Hills have to offer.
During open hernia surgery, our experts will make a single long incision in the groin, near the site of the defect. We will then return the tissues and organs to their proper location before repairing the hole or weakness in the inguinal canal using a mesh underlay or sutures. Recovery from open hernia surgery will typically last about three weeks, at which point patients may resume their normal activities. At six weeks, patients can resume strenuous exercise.
In some cases, we may use a minimally invasive procedure called laparoscopic hernia repair. During surgery, our experts will insert a thin scope with a camera attached to obtain internal visibility of the hernia and surrounding structures. We will then make a small incision to expose the weakened tissue, before placing a mesh patch or sutures to repair the defect. Following laparoscopic hernia repair, the recovery period is slightly shorter and associated with less pain and discomfort than open hernia surgery. In most cases, recovery lasts one to two weeks, at which point patients can resume light activity. At four weeks, patients can resume strenuous exercise.
Inguinal hernias in children
Inguinal hernias are relatively common among children. Because babies and young children are at a heightened risk to have tissue trapped in a hernia, it’s important to contact a hernia doctor immediately if you identify a lump in your child’s groin or scrotum.
The surgery to treat inguinal hernias in children is usually very simple. Our experts will return the tissue or organ back to the correct location and close the hole with sutures. As your child grows, the tissues will grow back together naturally without the risk of further complications.
If you suspect you have an inguinal hernia, or you have a protruding bulge near the groin or abdomen, it is important to seek immediate evaluation at the Los Angeles Hernia Center. Untreated hernias can lead to irreversible damage and the development of life-threatening complications, so time is of the essence. During your initial appointment, our team of surgeons will evaluate your symptoms and provide a definitive diagnosis. From there, we will compose a custom surgical plan to repair your hernia and prevent a recurrence using the most comfortable and minimally invasive techniques available. With years of experience and countless successful procedures, our surgeons have developed a reputation for delivering among the best inguinal hernia repair Los Angeles has to offer.
We specialize in performing complete hernia surgery and repair, using the latest and most minimally invasive techniques available. Moreover, our staff is comprised of two leading hernia experts, both of whom are fully committed to providing our patients with the best inguinal hernia repair Beverly Hills has available.
All procedures are performed in our surgical care center, which is a private alternative to a hospital setting. Because hernia repair is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, hospitalization simply is not necessary. As such, many patients prefer to undergo treatment in our state-of-the-art facility, which offers an added level of privacy, convenience, and comfort.Learn more