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What are the treatment options for an inguinal hernia?

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Quick Answer

An inguinal hernia can be treated laparoscopically or with open surgery, explains Mayo Clinic. During laparoscopy, the surgeon makes small incisions in the abdomen and inserts small tubes equipped with a camera and instruments into the belly. The hernia is repaired with synthetic mesh.

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Full Answer

Patients with a large hernia or a hernia that protrudes into the scrotum are not good candidates for laparoscopy, according to Mayo Clinic. During open surgery an incision is made in the groin and the protruding intestine is pushed back into the abdomen. The weakened abdominal muscles are sewn together and reinforced with synthetic mesh.

An inguinal hernia is caused by the protrusion of the omentum or intestine through a weakening in membrane that lines the abdominal wall, explains Mayo Clinic. Patents may feel a bulge on either side of the pubic bone, a burning or gurgling sensation at the bulge, and pain, discomfort and weakness in the groin. Other symptoms include pain and swelling around the testicles.

Complications of an inguinal hernia include incarceration or strangulation of the hernia, according to Mayo Clinic. An incarcerated hernia occurs when the omentum or a loop of intestine is trapped in the weakened portion of the abdomen. This causes severe pain, nausea, vomiting and problems with bowel movements. Strangulation occurs when the blood supply to a trapped portion of the intestine is cut-off. This causes tissue death and symptoms that include a sudden intense pain, nausea, vomiting, fever and a rapid heart rate.

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