A groin hernia is a common condition that may affect an area in the inguinal or femoral region. As with other hernias there are many different ways of repairing an inguinal hernia. The two main operative approaches are using laparoscopic (keyhole) or open surgery. A mesh is nearly always used as this significantly decreases the chance of the hernia coming back (recurrence). Patients often stay overnight in hospital after groin hernia surgery however it is possible to go home on the same day in selected cases. As a general rule, a laparoscopic hernia repair is associated with less post operative pain and a quicker return to work. Another advantage of the laparoscopic technique is that you can repair both sides (bilateral repair) through the same incisions. Some groin hernias may not be suitable for laparoscopic repair however and your surgeon will discuss with you the best option in your situation.
Specific complications of hernia repairs include local discomfort, infection, damage to nerves and blood vessels, bruising and urinary retention. There is also a very small chance of the hernia coming back in the longer term. Other general operative risks are also present and these include complications such as clots in the legs (DVT) or a severe reaction to the general anaesthetic.