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Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

An inguinal hernia is said to be the most common type of hernia, and it mostly occurs in men. But what exactly is it, and what are its symptoms? More importantly, how is it treated? If you have an inguinal hernia – or you think you have one – here’s what you should know about the condition, its symptoms, and its treatment.

What is it?

An inguinal hernia is a condition wherein intestinal or fatty tissues push through into a person’s inguinal canal in the area of the groin, around the base of the abdomen. An inguinal hernia can be seen as a lump, and it can be painful. Some people don’t exhibit any symptoms associated with the inguinal hernia, so they don’t even know that they have it – and it’s only those with symptoms who find out that they do have the condition.

The symptoms

The primary symptom of an inguinal hernia is the aforementioned lump on the abdomen or groin. The lump can also become bigger if a person coughs or stands up, and it can also become sensitive or painful when a person moves around. In some cases, the lump itself is painful simply when touched. The other symptoms associated with an inguinal hernia include pain when exercising, lifting objects, or bending over, and a burning sensation in the area. Symptoms also include a heavy sensation in the abdomen or groin, and, for some men, symptoms include swelling of the testicles or scrotum as well.

The treatment

The main treatment for an inguinal hernia is surgery, as a hernia surgery in Surrey expert like Andrew Davies will confirm. The good news, however, is that surgery for treating inguinal hernias is a relatively common procedure, and it exhibits a high amount of success, especially when performed by an experienced and competent surgeon.

There are two basic options when it comes to hernia surgery: open surgery (also referred to as herniorrhaphy), or laparoscopy, which is surgery done with a laparoscope.

Open surgery is an option where the surgeon makes a large incision in the groin or abdomen and physically puts back the abdominal tissue into the abdomen. The wall of the abdomen will then be stitched and repaired as well. Laparoscopy, on the other hand, is when the surgeon makes about 3 small incisions in the abdomen, and a laparoscope (a scope with a camera) is used to view the tissue; it is then repaired with the use of surgical instruments inserted into one of the small incisions. For those who would like a less invasive procedure with a faster recovery period, laparoscopy is a good choice, although this will still depend on the recommendations of your surgeon.