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Inguinal Hernia - Surgery

What to think about

Laparoscopic surgery may not be possible for a person who has tissues that have grown together (adhesions) from previous abdominal operations.

Most hernias that will recur do so within 5 years after surgery.

The risk of a hernia coming back after surgery varies depending on a surgeon's experience, the type of hernia, if mesh is used, and the person's age and overall health.

  • Recurrence rates after hernia repair are lower when experienced surgeons do the procedure, especially for laparoscopic techniques.3
  • The chance of a hernia coming back after surgery ranges from 1 to 10 out of 100 surgeries done.4
  • Using mesh to repair the weak muscle in the belly wall decreases the chance the hernia will come back by more than half.5

There are some considerations before having inguinal hernia repair surgery, such as what kind of hernia repair is done most at the hospital or clinic. Talk with your doctor so that you make the best decision for your condition.

Recurrent inguinal hernias are harder to repair and pose more risks than initial hernia repairs. The risks linked with recurrent hernia surgery are more scar tissue, numbness and pain after surgery, and a greater chance of injury to a testicle or the spermatic cord.

Conditions that might increase the risk of recurrence include abdominal muscles that are not strong or healthy enough to "hold" the stitching (suture) material and bleeding or infection that weaken the repair.

Fertility is usually not affected by an inguinal hernia or hernia surgery. But in males there is a chance that surgery or an incarcerated hernia can cause injury to the vas deferens, the tube that carries sperm from the testicles to the urethra. It is not yet known how often or to what degree this affects a man's ability to father a child. In rare cases, surgery or an incarcerated hernia may injure the blood vessels that supply one or both testicles with blood, which may cause the affected testicle to shrink.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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