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Hernia, inguinal repair - Risks of surgery

NHS Choices Medical Reference

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As with any kind of surgery, there are some risks associated with inguinal hernia repair, which differ from person to person. Before your operation, ask your surgeon to explain how these could apply to you.

Specific complications

Complications that are specific to this operation include:

  • blood or fluid building up in the space left by the hernia (this will usually get better without treatment),
  • painful swelling and bruising of the testicles (for men),
  • pain and numbness in the groin area caused by damage of a nerve during surgery, stitches trapping a nerve, mesh applied too tightly, or scar tissue forming (this is five to 10 times more common after open surgery).

These complications are rare, but more likely if:

  • you are over 50, or 
  • you have another illness, such as heart disease or breathing problems.

General complications

Possible complications of any operation include:

  • pain,
  • bleeding,
  • infection in the surgical wound,
  • heavy scarring, and
  • blood clots.
Medical Review: November 30, 2009
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