What is an inguinal hernia?

A hernia is a condition where soft tissue bulges through a weak point in your abdominal muscles. Hernias affect people of all ages. They can cause you pain and limit your daily activities.

Most hernias are not immediately life threatening, but they don’t go away on their own and can require surgery to prevent potentially dangerous complications.


  • A bulge or lump in your abdomen or groin
  • Pain or discomfort in your lower abdomen, especially when you cough, bend or twist, or lift something
  • Heaviness, weakness, or dull pain in your groin or abdomen

How is an inguinal hernia diagnosed?

A physical exam is usually enough to diagnose a hernia. The doctor will feel the area for a bulge and may ask you to cough or strain. Imaging such as ultrasound, MRI or CT can also be used.

How is an inguinal hernia treated?

Your doctor may recommend that you watch and wait with a hernia that is small or is not bothersome or recommend wearing a truss to relieve symptoms.

For a hernia that is painful or enlarging, you can call our general surgery department for a consultation. We offer open hernia repair and laparoscopic hernia surgery. Laparoscopic is a minimally invasive surgery done through small slits in the abdomen using a tiny camera and instruments. You can expect a quicker recovery time and less scarring.

We use non-mesh, absorbable mesh, and permanent mesh methods for treating hernias.

Guthrie general surgeons treat common to complex conditions, whether you require emergency or routine surgery.