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Inguinal Hernia Recovery and Treatment

written by: AlyssaAst • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 12/16/2009

An inguinal hernia occurs in the lower abdominal wall. This painful hernia requires prompt treatment. With the latest technology, inguinal hernia recovery is far shorter now than it once was. Current treatment methods offer less pain and quicker recovery times.

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    What is an Inguinal Hernia?

    An inguinal hernia affects the lower abdominal wall. This occurs from soft tissue, commonly the intestine, protruding into a tear or weakened area in the lower abdominal wall. This is an extremely painful condition. It often creates a bulge at the affected area. It is often most painful during movement, such as bending, lifting, or coughing.

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    What are the Symptoms of an Inguinal Hernia?

    This abdominal wall hernia may cause no symptoms at all. However, they often cause many painful and uncomfortable symptoms. Often, a common symptom of the hernia is a visible bulge. The bulge is most visible while standing or during movement that cause strain.

    Other symptoms of the hernia include pain and discomfort in the groin area. The pain and discomfort often becomes more severe when bending, lifting, or coughing. There can also be a heavy feeling in the area. Men can experience swelling and pain in the scrotum or around the testicles.

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    What Causes an Inguinal Hernia?

    There are two common causes of the hernia. A hernia can be caused from either one or both of the factors. Increased pressure in the abdomen, such as during pregnancy, can result in the hernia. The other common cause of the hernia is a pre-existing weakened area with in the abdominal wall. Common causes of the hernia include, straining to pass a bowel or urinate, heavy lifting, and excessive weight.

    Although these hernias can affect anyone, certain people have an increased risk for them. Men seem to have the condition more than women. People that have a family history of the hernias or have had them before are at an increased risk for the condition. Certain medical conditions, such as chronic constipation or cough, have a higher chance of causing a hernia. Pregnancy and premature birth put a person at a higher risk. Certain occupations are likely to cause a person to develop the hernia.

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    What is the Treatment and Recovery for an Inguinal Hernia?

    It is important a hernia is correctly repaired because further damage can occur if it is left untreated. If left untreated tissue can begin to die in the area due to lack of blood flow, pain and discomfort can intensify, and bowel movements may become difficult or impossible.

    Common treatment for hernias is a herniorrhaphy. This is a surgical procedure used to push the soft tissues back into place. The weakened or torn area will be stitched back together. Inguinal hernia recovery for this procedure is usually about four to six weeks. After this time normal activity can be resumed.

    Another form of treatment includes hernioplasty. This is another procedure where the tear or weakened area is repaired. There is a patch like structure inserted into the abdominal wall to hold the soft tissue in place. This is the most common form of treatment because it is less invasive and causes less discomfort. The inguinal hernia recovery for this form of treatment is usually only a few days.

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    References:

    “Inguinal Hernia” By Michael G. Sarr, M.D. NIDDK

    “Inguinal Hernia- Treatments and Drugs” November 6, 2008 MayoClinic.com

    “Inguinal Hernia- Complications” November 6, 2008 Mayoclinic.com

    “Inguinal Hernia- Risk Factors” November 6, 2008 Mayoclinic.com

    “Inguinal Hernia- Causes” November 6, 2008 Mayoclinic.com

    “Inguinal Hernia- Symptoms” November 6, 2008 Mayoclinic.com