I have a question about inguinal hernia repair and hernia surgery (herniotomy)

What is a hernia?

A hernia occurs where an internal part of the body pushes through a weak area of muscle or surrounding wall tissue. There are several different types of hernia.  An inguinal hernia (groin hernia) occurs when fatty tissue, or part of the bowel, pushes through the abdominal wall into the groin. The area the hernia moves into is called the inguinal canal.

Hernias aren’t always painful when they first occur but, if not treated, the weak spot can grow over time. It’s important to always seek medical advice and assessment of a hernia as they can potentially be dangerous.

If left untreated, serious complications can develop with some hernias if part of the bowel protrudes into the inguinal canal, obstructing or strangulating the bowel (strangulated hernia). These are dangerous conditions which require emergency surgery.

What causes an inguinal hernia?

Inguinal hernias occur mainly in men, but they’re not uncommon in women. Most inguinal hernias are thought to be caused by ageing (although they occur at any age) because as you become older, your abdominal muscles can become weaker.

Inguinal hernias are sometimes caused by putting pressure on the abdomen, either through carrying or pushing heavy loads - for example if you're a tradesperson -  or by straining on the toilet when constipated. Sometimes a hernia may be caused by persistent, heavy coughing.

How do I recognise inguinal hernia symptoms?

Inguinal hernias can be sensitive to the touch or painful, but they are most noticeable by their appearance, causing bulging in the groin area. This bulging may get larger when you are standing up, coughing or lifting something heavy, and may reduce or disappear when you lie down.

Other symptoms can include pain during exercise or when coughing or bending over. This pain can sometimes be sharp and accompanied by a burning sensation. There may be swelling in the scrotum and a sensation of fullness or heaviness in the groin.

How are inguinal hernias diagnosed and do I need a hernia operation?

Your GP will be able to diagnose an inguinal hernia after discussing your symptoms and physically examining the area.

What is the treatment for a hernia?

Whether or not you need treatment depends on the size of your hernia and the severity of your symptoms. Your GP may simply monitor your hernia for possible complications. Treatment options for a hernia include:


If you have an inguinal hernia, over the counter and prescription medications that reduce pain can relieve your discomfort and improve symptoms. Ask your healthcare provider which medicine is right for you. Ask how much to take and how often to take it.

Laparoscopic hernia repair

If you have an inguinal hernia (groin hernia) or a bilateral hernia - and are experiencing pain, severe or persistent symptoms - you might have laparoscopic hernia surgery.   

Open hernia repair

An incision is made in the groin region to allow the surgeon to repair the hernia. This is an alternative treatment to laparoscopic hernia repair.

What is the laparoscopic repair of hernias?

This procedure is where a hernia is treated using ‘keyhole’ or laparoscopic surgery.

A laparoscopic inguinal (groin) hernia removal involves ‘keyhole’ surgery to push back the protruding tissue and to repair the weak area of the abdominal wall. This area of the wall is often repaired with a patch of special mesh which is stitched into position during the operation. The mesh subsequently heals into the surrounding tissue, so strengthening the wall and helping to prevent further hernias.

What happens during a laparoscopic repair of hernias?

A hernia repair is usually performed under a general anaesthetic, so you’ll be asleep during the operation. You’ll be in hospital for up to six hours after the operation so you may need to stay overnight if your operation is scheduled late in the day or you have a long journey home.

During a laparoscopic (keyhole) hernia repair the surgeon inserts a laparoscope (a thin tube with a camera at the end) through a small incision close to your navel enabling the operation to be viewed on a screen. Using other small instruments inserted through two more small incisions, the surgeon pushes back the bulge and repairs the abdominal wall using a mesh that is glued or stapled in place. The small incisions are then closed with glue or dissolvable stitches.

How much does a hernia operation cost?

Request a quote by contacting our Private Patient team through our online quotation form or by calling 01580 363158.

Our Consultants

Mr Hamouda General Surgeon

Ahmed Hamouda

Consultant Surgeon

Mr Hamouda's specialties include gallstone disease, gallbladder removal and hernia repair.

Mr Abuchi Okaro

Abuchi Okaro

Consultant Surgeon

Mr Okaro's specialties include general surgery and upper GI surgery.

Mr Abdul Aal

Yasser Abdul Aal

Consultant General and Emergency Surgeon

Mr Abdul Aal's specialties include gallbladder removal, hernia surgery, advanced upper and gastrointestinal procedures.

Mr Hamade

Ayman Hamade

Consultant Surgeon

Mr Hamade's specialties include colorectal surgery, laparoscopic surgery and general surgery.

Mr Mangam

Sudhakar Mangam

Consultant General, Laparoscopic and Colorectal Surgeon

Mr Mangam works in laparoscopic colorectal surgery and coloproctology including bowel cancer, haemorrhoids, fissures, fistula and inflammatory bowel disease.

Mr Hasan

Fazal Hasan

Consultant General Surgeon

Mr Hasan's specialties include advanced laparoscopic surgery, thyroid surgery and hepatobiliary surgery procedures.

Mr Mansoor Akhtar, Consultant General & Colorectal Surgeon at Benenden Hospital

Mansoor Akhtar

Consultant General & Colorectal Surgeon

Mr Akhtar's specialities include laparoscopic cholecystectomy, femoral hernia repair, incisional hernia repair and haemorrhoids treatment

Contact us about laparoscopic repair of a hernia

It's easy to find out more about treatment by giving us a call or completing our enquiry form.