Hernia

Hernias occur when a weakness in the muscle wall of your groin or abdomen allows a part of your bowel or fatty tissue to poke through. There may be no or few symptoms but hernias rarely get better on their own and in time may worsen or get larger. That means it is very important to get a hernia treated as soon as possible to avoid complications such as an obstruction even if you have minimal discomfort.

The most common type of hernia is inguinal. It mainly affects men and is usually caused by ageing or repeated strain on your tummy. This type of hernia occurs when there is a weakness in the muscle wall in your groin.

Symptoms include:

  • A lump or bulge under the skin in your groin or you may have an enlarged scrotum. The lump will usually disappear completely when you lie down
  • The hernia may be aggravated by lifting, straining your tummy or coughing.
  • The lump or bulge may be painful

If an inguinal hernia is left untreated, complications may develop such as:

  • A piece of your bowel may get stuck in the weakened gap. This can cause symptoms such as feeling sick and abdominal pain. This is called an obstruction
  • The blood supply to a part of your bowel may get cut off if it is caught in the weakened muscle wall. This is an emergency and requires urgent surgery as if blood supply is stopped, tissue starts to die. This is called strangulation

Neil has extensive experience in assessing and diagnosing hernias. You can book an appointment to see Neil without a referral.

Appointments are often available within 24-48 hours.

Symptoms include:

  • A lump or bulge under the skin in your groin or you may have an enlarged scrotum. The lump will usually disappear completely when you lie down
  • The hernia may be aggravated by lifting, straining your tummy or coughing
  • The lump or bulge may be painful

If an inguinal hernia is left untreated, complications may develop such as:

  • A piece of your bowel may get stuck in the weakened gap. This can cause symptoms such as feeling sick and abdominal pain. This is called an obstruction
  • The blood supply to a part of your bowel may get cut off if it is caught in the weakened muscle wall. This is an emergency and requires urgent surgery as if blood supply is stopped, tissue starts to die. This is called strangulation

Neil has extensive experience in assessing and diagnosing hernias. You can book an appointment to see Neil without a referral.

Appointments are often available within 24-48 hours.

Frequently asked questions

about hernia

How do I book an appointment?

If you’re enquiring about seeing Neil privately for hernias, you can enquire directly with his medical secretary, who will arrange an appointment as soon as is convenient for you. Neil runs clinics across London and Central and West Kent.  

What happens at my initial consultation?

At your appointment, Neil will ask you questions about your symptoms and will examine you. You’re always welcome to have a chaperone present, usually one of the nursing staff at the hospital.

What scans and tests might I need?

Usually, a physical examination is sufficient to diagnose an inguinal hernia. You might be asked to stand and cough, as this will help make the hernia more prominent and detectable. Sometimes ultrasound can be helpful.

What treatments are available for inguinal hernia?

Once Neil has examined you, he will discuss with you the best treatment depending on the severity and type of hernia.

Neil usually recommends a straightforward open procedure. An incision is made across your tummy and the bowel or fatty tissue that has poked out is put back into your abdomen. A mesh is then placed over the area of weakened muscle. The incision is stitched, and the stitches should dissolve within a few days after the operation.

This type of surgery can be performed with general or local anaesthesia depending on your situation, preference and general health.

What is the recovery and aftercare for open hernia surgery?

Most patients will stay one night in hospital or go home the same day. If your procedure is more extensive,you may need to stay in hospital for up to 5 days.

As a private patient you’ll be given your own private bedroom with a dedicated nurse each day and night. You will be able to relax in calm and clean surroundings whilst you recover.

You may be able to return to work within 2 weeks depending on how active your job is. Full recovery should be expected up to 6 weeks after your procedure.

What are the possible complications of hernia repair?

Any type of surgery presents the risk of complications such as infection, thrombosis and bleeding. Complications for this specific procedure are very rare but may include:

  • Painful swelling and bruising or damage to the blood supply to the testicles
  • Damage to the tube that carries sperm to the testicles
  • Nerve being trapped or damaged in surgery causing pain and numbness

Neil will discuss all possible complications at your initial consultation.

Additional information

The Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland has more in-depth information about this condition, as well as printable resources for you to download.