The medical term for a groin hernia is inguinal hernia because the hernia develops when a part of the intestine pushes through a weak area in the abdominal wall at the inguinal canal near the groin. The big myth is that only males develop inguinal hernias. In fact, about 10 percentage of the population that has these hernias are females. Approximately 25 of all males will develop a groin hernia at some time during their lifetime.
Two Types of Groin/Inguinal Hernias
Indirect Groin Hernia
A hernia develops when the opening in the inguinal canal does not close at birth and remains open. When this happens, a part of the intestine slips through the canal. The hernia is generally discovered during the first year of life, but it also may not be noticed or diagnosed until adulthood.
Direct Groin Hernia
This condition is more common in adults and develops when a part of the intestine protrudes through a weak spot in the wall of the inguinal canal.
Two Types of Groin/Inguinal Hernia Surgery
Both types of surgical procedures for groin hernia repairs are normally done on an outpatient basis. Both forms of surgery will use either a general or local anesthesia. For 6 to 8 weeks after any hernia surgery, while the groin area heals completely, the patient should avoid heavy lifting or strenuous activities.
The surgeon repairs a hernia by making an incision in the groin, gently pushing the bulging tissue back into place, and closing the opening with stitches. Depending on the size of the herniated area, a piece of synthetic mesh may be used to reinforce the tender area to avoid the formation of another hernia. Normal activities are generally resumed after 7 to 14 days.
The surgeon makes a few small incisions in the abdominal wall where a laparoscope is inserted. The surgeon gently pushes the herniated intestine back into place and will use surgical staples to repair the opening. This form of surgery is less discomforting to the patient and normal activities are generally resumed within one week.