Open Inguinal Hernia Repair: Why Do You Need It?

What Is Hernia?

A hernia is a condition that occurs when tissue or an organ tries to exit or push through a weak spot in the muscle wall cavity where it normally resides. Usually, the muscle wall is strong enough to keep the internal organs in place. However, a hernia can develop if there is a weak spot or an opening in the tissue or muscle wall.

What Is Inguinal Hernia?

In some cases, the hernia bulges out through a weak spot in the lower abdominal wall or the inguinal canal. This condition is known as an inguinal hernia

How Is the Surgery Performed?

An open inguinal hernia repair surgery is one of the most common surgeries performed to treat an abdominal hernia. While performing an open hernia surgery, the surgeon makes a long incision in the groin. In cases where the hernia is pushing through the abdominal wall, the bulge is pushed back into place. To treat an inguinal hernia, the hernia sac is either gently pushed back or surgically removed.

Unlike laparoscopic surgery, where the surgeon makes several small incisions in the abdomen, open surgery involves one large, linear incision, about 6 to 8 centimeters long. The surgeon locates the hernia and separates it from the surrounding tissues before pushing it back gently into the abdomen. The weakened abdominal wall is then strengthened and reinforced with the help of a synthetic mesh, and the opening is sutured with stitches. Open inguinal repair surgery can be performed under spinal, local, or general anesthesia. 

What Are the Risks Involved?

If the hernia is enlarged or is causing painful symptoms, surgery is recommended to relieve discomfort and avoid any serious complications. However, a few risks involved in an inguinal hernia open surgery include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Nerve damage
  • Numbness of skin
  • Testicular swelling and pain
  • Recurrence of hernia

How Effective Is the Surgery?

Open surgery for inguinal hernia repair is safe. It significantly lowers the recurrence rate when performed by surgeons using synthetic mesh patches.  These patches are commonly used and are far more superior and effective than traditional sutured techniques.

How Long Is the Recovery Process Post-Surgery?

Most patients who undergo an open surgery for inguinal hernia repair can go home after the surgery, as long as there is a friend or a family member to drive them home. Recovery, however, can take up to three to six weeks. Light activity can be resumed after two weeks.  However, you may need to wait for a few more weeks to resume strenuous activities. Sexual activity can be resumed in about three weeks.

For more information on open inguinal hernia surgery, contact us today.


Dr. Madhu Prasad, M.D., FACS

Dr. Madhu Prasad has over 30+ years of experience working as a general surgeon and surgical oncologist and providing the highest level of care in Anchorage, Alaska. He believes in providing quality care to patients and their families. Inspired by compassion and humanism, Dr. Prasad and his team work for the well-being of their patients.

Hernia Surgery

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