Inguinal hernia surgery recovery period

Written by katlyn joy
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An inguinal (groin) hernia is a common problem, affecting up to 1 in 4 men, according to InteliHealth. It occurs when part of the intestine bulges through a weakened area in the abdominal wall, at the inguinal canal, the passageway between the abdominal wall and the groin. These injuries are 10 times more common in men than women.

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Open Hernia Repair

In this kind of operation, a physician will make an incision in the groin, move the hernia back into the abdomen, and stitch up the abdominal wall, usually putting in a mesh or screen for additional support. This may be done under a local or general anesthetic.


In this procedure, several small incisions are made in the lower abdomen, and a laparoscope, a tiny tube with a camera, is inserted into the incision. The doctor views the images and uses instruments to repair the hernia through the small incisions, adding mesh for reinforcement.

Time Frame

Recovery time from an open surgery is a bit longer than with a laparoscopy. Typically, recovery time from open surgery is one to two weeks, and less than a week with laparascopy.


Most people will not return to work for about a week following any type of hernia surgery, and should not lift heavy objects for at least six weeks. Most people will need pain medication; how much and for how long will depend on the patient and the surgery.


Not everyone is a good candidate for laparascopic surgery, especially people with larger hernias. Also, there is a risk of recurrent hernias with both surgeries, but a higher risk with laparoscopy.

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