“The abdomen is a walled cavity. The pressure inside this can rise to quite substantial levels especially when lifting heavy objects, coughing , sneezing etc. A hernia results when a weakness in the wall of this cavity; the commonest site is the groin area and a weakness of this site is called an inguinal hernia.
There are 2 major types of inguinal hernia, but the treatment is much the same for both. Once a hernia occurs it usually enlarges with time. At the very best it can stay the same but will never cure itself. It is mechanical defect and the only effective treatment is surgery. There have been major advances in the surgical techniques of hernia repairs recently. These involve insertion of synthetic material (Prolene) to plug and strengthen the defect. The advantage of this is that it avoids pulling tissues together-hence tension free repair. This means that there is far less (or no) discomfort following surgery & that it can be carried out under local anaesthesia rather than general anaesthesia. Light sedation is normally given during surgery and the patient goes home a few hours later. Another major advantage is that the type of repair is very strong, allowing return to work within a week or two, without any significant danger of the hernia recurring.”
(as provided by) Harvey Minasian MS(London) FRCS consultant surgeon