Groin Hernia

What is a Groin Hernia?

There are 2 classifications of hernias (bulge or protrusion of a viscus through a defect) in the groin, an inguinal hernia and a femoral hernia.

Groin hernias

  • Inguinal hernia.
  • This happens when tissue bulges through a weakness in the muscle layer around the groin. This can be something that you have had since birth or acquired (see causes of hernia).
  • If you have a hernia, this can present as pain, a visual bulge in the groin and in some men a bulge extending all the way into the scrotum.
  • In some cases patients with sudden significant pain or vomiting with a hernia may require urgent repair. These patients need to see the specialist urgently or present to an emergency department.
  • This can be repaired in most cases with laparoscopic or ‘key hole’ surgery.
  • Femoral Hernia.
  • These occur in the groin just above the crease separating the groin and the legs. They are less common than inguinal hernias.
  • The hernia bulges through the femoral canal.
  • All femoral hernias should be considered for early repair (closing the defect in the femoral canal) as there is an increased risk of the hernia contents getting stuck and causing significant problems.
  • To decide if a hernia is inguinal or femoral a patient should see a specialist.

There has been sufficient published data to support patients having groin hernias repaired laparoscopically returning to work in a shorter time frame with less associated chronic pain than those who undergo an open operation.

Dr. Niruben specialises in repairing both inguinal and femoral hernias with minimal invasive surgery or ‘key hole’ surgery.

The recurrence (return of your hernia) rate for your groin hernia after laparoscopic surgery is about 1%.

Incisional Hernias

  • Hernias that appear at the site of previous operations (open or ‘key hole’ surgery).
    These hernias can vary from a couple of centimetres to very large hernias where the entire abdominal content is within the hernia sac.
  • These patients often have little symptoms, but can progress to poor quality of life due to persistent pain from the hernia.
  • Dr. Niruben specialises in managing these hernias with laparoscopic surgery. In some cases he uses a specialised hybrid technique for these patients.
  • He has further specialised in abdominal compartment separation for the very large hernias.
  • This subgroup of patients should generally have their hernias fixed if they are suitable for a general anaesthesia.
  • A specialist consultation will determine what would be the best method for your individual condition.

Umbilical / Paraumbilical / Supraumbilical Hernia

  • Hernias that appear at / around the umbilicus (belly button). This can cause the belly button to stick out with a bulge either above or below it.
  • These hernias can be fixed with some patients going home the same day.
  • A specialist would need to see and assess your health together with your hernia before deciding what your length of stay in the hospital would be.

Epigastric Hernia

  • Hernia that appears in between the belly button and the chest along the midline of the abdomen in patients with no previous surgery.

Spigelian / Lateral Ventral Hernia

    • A hernia through a defect that lies lateral to the midline often between the abdominal wall muscle (rectus abdominus) and the semilunaris laterally.

This hernia is not as common and often develops later on in life when the abdominal muscles were not as strong as when we were young.

Ventral Hernia

  • A general term used to describe a bulge or hernia that occurs through the anterior abdominal muscles of the abdomen.