Inguinal hernias are a common type of hernia that occur when a part of the intestine or other abdominal tissue protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal wall, typically in the inguinal region (the area between the abdomen and the thigh). Inguinal hernias can be treated with surgery or, in some cases, with non-surgical methods.
The most common treatment for inguinal hernias is surgical repair. There are several surgical options for repairing inguinal hernias, including open surgery and laparoscopic surgery. In open surgery, the surgeon makes a large incision in the abdomen to access the hernia. In laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon makes a small incision and uses a laparoscope (a thin, lighted tube with a camera on the end) to view the hernia and repair it. Both types of surgery can be performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia.
Non-surgical treatment options for inguinal hernias include:
- Watchful waiting: In some cases, an inguinal hernia may not cause any symptoms or may only cause mild discomfort. In these cases, the hernia may be monitored closely by a healthcare provider, but no treatment may be necessary.
- Trusses or belts: These devices can be worn to provide support to the abdominal wall and reduce the risk of the hernia becoming strangulated (a condition in which the blood supply to the hernia is cut off). Trusses or belts are not a permanent solution and should not be used as a substitute for surgery.
- Non-surgical mesh repair: A mesh can be used to reinforce the weak area of the abdominal wall and prevent the hernia from recurring. This procedure is typically done using local anesthesia.
It’s important to speak with a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment option for an inguinal hernia. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the hernia and prevent complications such as strangulation or obstruction of the intestine.