Hernia – Inguinal Repair (Male)

This document provides information about open inguinal hernia repair (male). For further details, please contact your consultant.

What is an inguinal hernia repair?

A hernia can develop when an area of abdominal muscle weakens sufficiently to allow an internal part of the body to push through. The subsequent protruding lump that forms is known as a hernia (see figure 1).

Figure 1
An inguinal hernia

An inguinal hernia is the most common form of hernia. It appears as a lump in the groin or the scrotum and can be painful. It often occurs due to internal tissues pushing through into the inguinal canal – this is the channel that carries blood to the testicles.

Are hernias dangerous?

Hernias can become dangerous as they can lead to further complications. Delicate internal organs can become entangled and have their blood supply blocked off. This is called a strangulated hernia.

Why choose hernia surgery?

This is the most effective way to rid yourself of the hernia and to prevent any further problems occurring.

As well as an open inguinal hernia procedure, hernias can also be prepared with keyhole surgery.

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

A hernia will not disappear on its own without surgery. They can be temporarily controlled by wearing a support belt with padding (a truss) or leaving it alone. However, they can worsen with physical exertion.

What happens during an open inguinal hernia procedure?

Open inguinal hernia repairs take place under anaesthetic – various forms are available. The procedure takes around 4 minutes.

The surgeon will make an incision in the groin to extract the hernial sac. To prevent the hernia returning, the muscle will be strengthened with stitches and a synthetic mesh.

Risks and complications

Any risks or complications will be discussed in advance of your treatment with your expert consultant.

How long does it take to recover?

You can expect to leave the hospital on the same day as your operation but might need to take it steady, slowly increasing the amount of time you move around during the first week.

Most people are back in work within two to four weeks. However, this depends on your specific case and the type of work you do. Exercise can help you on the road to recovery but seek the advice of your consultant before you start.


Open inguinal hernia repair is an effective way to repair a hernia. If left untreated, inguinal hernias can cause serious problems.


References: EIDO Healthcare Limited – The operation and treatment information on this website is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Aspen Healthcare.

The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.