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Hernia (cont.)

Hernia Prognosis

  • Risk of strangulation: In considering when to have a reducible hernia surgically repaired, it is important to know the risk of strangulation.
    • The risk varies with the location and size of the hernia and the length of time it has been present.
    • In general, hernias with large sac contents with a relatively small opening are more likely to become strangulated.
    • Hernias that have been present for many years may become irreducible.
  • Operative complications: Approximately 7% of people undergoing surgical hernia repair will have complications.
    • These are short-term and usually treatable.
    • The hernia that comes back after initial surgical repair can be repaired by the same or an alternate method.
    • Complications include the following:
      • recurrence (most common),
      • urinary retention,
      • wound infection,
      • fluid build-up in scrotum (called hydrocele formation),
      • scrotal hematoma (bruise), and
      • testicular damage on the affected side (rare).

Medically reviewed by Martin E Zipser, MD; American Board of Surgery


Itani K.M., R. Fitzgibbons Jr., S.S. Awad, Q.Y. Duh, and G.S. Ferzli. "Management of Recurrent Inguinal Hernias." Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 209.5 Nov. 2009: 653-658.

Takata, Mark C., and Quan-Yang Duh. "Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia Repair." Surgical Clinics of North America. 88.1 Feb. 2008: 157-178.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/26/2015

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Hernias »

As defined in 1804 by Astley Cooper, ahernia as a protrusion of any viscus from its proper cavity.

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