Q:

Why is an inguinal hernia more common on the right side?

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Quick Answer

Inguinal hernias are more frequent in males and occur on the right side in 60 percent of cases because the right testicle descends after the left, explains Medscape. Before birth, the testicles descend from the abdomen to the scrotum through the inguinal canal.

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Full Answer

The inguinal canal closes after the testicles descend, and a failure or delay in closure creates a weakness in the abdominal wall and the risk for hernia, explains Mayo Clinic. A similar weakness sometimes occurs later in life after an injury or surgery in the abdomen. Other causes include an increased pressure in the abdomen, straining during bowel movements, heavy lifting, pregnancy, excess weight and persistent coughing and sneezing.

Inguinal hernia repair options include open and laparoscopic surgical procedures, notes Mayo Clinic. During the open procedure, the surgeon makes an incision in the groin around the site of the hernia. When the hernia is found, the surgeon pushes the protruding intestine back into the abdomen, closes the abdominal wall with sutures and reinforces the area with a mesh.

Laparoscopic repair is similar to open surgery and involves the creation of small incisions in the abdomen that are used for the insertion of a thin tubular camera and instruments, describes Mayo Clinic. This procedure is less invasive and is associated with a faster recovery and less postoperative discomfort.

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