ZocdocAnswersWhat is the likelihood of chronic pain after inguinal hernia surgery?

Question

What is the likelihood of chronic pain after inguinal hernia surgery?

I have an inguinal hernia. Should I get mesh or no mesh surgery and what is the likelyhood that I will develop chronic pain or erection pain. I have read quite a number of posts from men who underwent surgery and are having severe pain years after the surgery and pain on the penis when erect. One article mentioned more than 30% of patients experience this. Is this surgery really considered safe and are doctors taking into account those that are reporting long term pain after surgery? I'm 33 years old. I'm not overweight. I don't build muscle easily. I have never had surgery before. The hernia doesn't hurt most of the time if I'm not active but there is mild pain when I start doing too much like lifting and stuff. It bulges out a little most of the day and can be pushed back in at night when I go to bed. It starts feeling tender if I mess with it during the day.

Answer

The decision to surgically repair an inguinal hernia is based on multiple factors, and I would first recommend that you seek evaluation by a healthcare professional to discuss your condition, get a diagnosis, learn about treatment options, and decide if treatment is right for you. Generally, inguinal hernia surgery can be done on an elective basis, unless the hernia becomes incarcerated or strangulated. This means that abdominal contents bulge through the hernia opening and get trapped and cannot be reduced back into the abdomen. The area will often become very painful and tender, and patients may develop signs of obstruction including nausea, vomiting and obstipation. This is a surgical emergency, and if you experience this problem, please seek professional healthcare evaluation immediately. Hernias can be repaired either laparoscopically or through an open incision. With an open incision, there is a small risk of entrapment of the ilioinguinal nerve, which can lead to chronic inguinal pain. However, most medical studies evaluating this complication show it to be a rare event. It is important to ask your surgeon his/her own experience with this issue. Generally after hernia surgery, patients can be sore for upwards of 4-6 weeks, and your doctor may recommend reduced strenuous activity for a certain period of time. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, hernia surgery may provide symptomatic relief. Again, please speak with a healthcare professional.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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