While an inguinal hernia belt can be worn to relieve pain, inguinal hernia surgery is the only way to repair the condition. Depending on the exact location of the hernia, its severity and the patient’s tolerance for treatment, surgery is either performed laparoscopically or using an open method. The surgery may be performed under general, spinal or local anesthesia.
Traditionally, most hernias have been repaired through an open surgical procedure called herniorrhaphy. During this procedure, an incision is made in the groin and the hole through which the bulge protrudes is repaired. If a section of the intestine has become twisted or is trapped, it may be necessary to remove – or resect – that portion of the bowel. Today, all inguinal hernia repairs are reinforced with a piece of plastic or cloth mesh to make the repair durable.
Minimally invasive, laparoscopic surgery for inguinal hernia repair is becoming increasingly more common. Laparoscopy uses a flexible, thin tube with a tiny video camera attached to it. The surgery is done by making several small incisions through which surgical instruments are passed into the abdomen. The recovery time after a laparoscopic surgery is much faster and the pain is significantly less compared to an open procedure.