Inguinal Hernia

When tissue, such as a portion of the intestine, pushes through a weak area in the abdominal muscles, it develops into an inguinal hernia. When you cough, lean over, or lift anything heavy, the ensuing bulge may hurt. Many hernias, nevertheless, are painless.

An inguinal hernia need not be harmful. However, it doesn't go better on its own and can develop fatal problems. Inguinal hernia surgery may be advised by your doctor if it is painful or expanding. A frequent surgical treatment is the correction of inguinal hernias.

Inguinal Hernia: Causes

The following are the important causes of developing inguinal hernia:

  • Abdominal pressure that is elevated

  • A belly wall weakness that already exists straining during bowel or urinal motions

  • Arduous exercise

  • Pregnancy

  • Persistent sneezing or coughing

In many cases, a weakness in the abdominal wall muscle that prevents the muscle from correctly closing before birth causes abdominal wall weakness that eventually results in an inguinal hernia. Other inguinal hernias appear later in life as a result of muscular deterioration brought on by aging, severe exercise, or smoking-related coughing.

Inguinal Hernia: Symptoms

The patient with inguinal hernia mainly presents with the following symptoms:

  • A protrusion on each side of your pubic bone that is more noticeable while you're standing up, particularly if you cough or strain

  • Aching or scorching pain at the bulge

  • Discomfort or pain in your groin, particularly while crouching, coughing, or raising

  • A feeling of heaviness or dragging in your groin

  • Pressure or weakness in your groin

  • Occasionally, the projecting intestine will descend into the scrotum and cause discomfort and swelling around the testicles.

Children's Symptoms

A weakening in the abdominal wall that exists at birth causes inguinal hernias in infants and young children. Sometimes the hernia won't be apparent till the baby is screaming, coughing, or struggling to go to the toilet.

He or she might become agitated and lose appetite. When an older kid coughs, stretches during bowel movements, or stands for an extended amount of time, a hernia is likely to be more noticeable.

Indicators of Difficulty

The contents of the hernia may get imprisoned in the abdominal wall if you are unable to push it in. An imprisoned hernia may become strangled, cutting off the blood supply to the confined tissue. If a strangulated hernia is not treated, it may be fatal.

Strangulated hernia warning signs and symptoms include:

  • Vomiting, nausea, or both Fever

  • Sudden, swiftly worsening discomfort

  • A hernia bulge that darkens, gets red, or is purple

  • Inability to urinate or expel gas

Inguinal Hernia: Risk Factors

Several factors play an important role in the development of inguinal hernia which includes:

  • Being a man. Inguinal hernias are eight times more common in males than in women.

  • Being more senior. Age causes muscles to weaken.

  • To be white.

  • Family background. You have a close family who has the illness, such as a parent or sibling.

  • Persistent cough, such as from smoking.

  • Constipation that persists. Having constipation results in strained bowel motions.

  • Pregnancy. The abdominal muscles might become weakened during pregnancy, which can lead to an increase in abdominal pressure.

  • Low birth weight and preterm delivery. Babies that are born preterm or with a low birth weight are more likely to develop inguinal hernias.

  • Inguinal hernia or prior hernia repair. Even if your prior inguinal hernia happened while you were a youngster, you are more likely to get another one.

Inguinal Hernia: Diagnosis

The diagnosis of the inguinal hernia is mainly done based on history and some of the tests may be required for confirmation and to rule out underlying causes:

The diagnosis of an inguinal hernia is often made by a physical examination. Your physician will look for a groin bulge. You'll probably be asked to cough or strain while standing, which might accentuate a hernia.

An imaging test, such as an abdominal ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI, may be prescribed by your doctor if the diagnosis is not clear-cut.

Inguinal Hernia: Treatment

Your doctor could advise careful waiting if your hernia is little and isn't troubling you. Wearing a supporting truss may occasionally help reduce symptoms, but see your doctor first since it's crucial that the truss fits properly and is being utilized properly. Before recommending surgery for youngsters, the doctor may use manual pressure to minimize the bulge.

  • Surgery is frequently necessary to treat expanding or painful hernias to ease discomfort and avoid catastrophic consequences.

  • Open hernia surgery and minimally invasive hernia repair are the two main forms of hernia procedures.

Correction of an Open Hernia

A groin incision is made during this surgery, and the surgeon forces the protruding tissue down into your belly under local anesthesia and sedation or total anesthesia.

Little incision hernia repair

The physician works via numerous small incisions in your belly during this surgery, which requires general anesthesia.

Inguinal Hernia: Prevention

The congenital flaw that predisposes you to an inguinal hernia cannot be prevented. However, you can lessen the stress on the tissues and muscles of your abdomen. For instance:

  • Keep a healthy weight. Consult your doctor for advice on the best diet and exercise program for you.

  • Put a focus on fiber-rich meals. Fibre found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can aid in preventing constipation and straining.

  • Avoid heavy lifting if you can, or lift things slowly. Always bend from the knees rather than the waist when you need to lift something heavy.

  • Give up smoking. In addition to contributing to several dangerous ailments, smoking frequently results in a persistent cough that can induce or exacerbate an inguinal hernia.


There is always a chance of incarceration or strangulation, hence general surgeons should be consulted with any patient who has an inguinal hernia. Inguinal hernias can now be repaired surgically using a variety of methods. Although the majority of patients perform well, problems including nerve damage, intestinal damage, recurrence, and wound infections are not unusual.

All males over the age of 50 who have risk factors for lung and heart illness should be examined by an anesthesiologist nurse before surgery to make sure they are healthy enough. Some of these individuals could require pulmonary clearance and cardiology.

Depending on how the operation was done, recovery time after surgery is frequently protracted, and the majority of patients have mild to severe discomfort. The patient should receive advice from the chemist on pain management, quitting smoking, and gradually resuming activity when the pain has diminished. No matter how the operation is performed, a tiny proportion of individuals do get a recurrence.

Dr. Durgesh Kumar Sinha
Dr. Durgesh Kumar Sinha


Updated on: 18-May-2023


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