Groin hernias account of 75% of all abdominal wall hernias. Groin hernias are one of the leading causes for ambulatory care visits. Lifetime risk of developing a groin hernia is about 25% for men and 5% for women. Groin hernias are classified anatomically as inguinal (indirect or direct) or femoral. Facts:

• Groin hernia are 95% Inguinal and 5% Femoral
• Indirect inguinal hernia is most common in both sexes. Most occur when the inguinal canal fails to close before birth. It may not become apparent until later in life.
• Direct hernias are 20 times more common in men. Usually they are an acquired weakness/tear in the floor of the inguinal canal. Associated with straining or a similar action.
• Femoral hernias represent about 25% of repairs in women. They are more common in women. These hernias are located below the inguinal canal (upper thigh). Usually an acquired weakness/tear in the femoral ring.

Clinical presentation can range from a bulge in the groin region on routine exam with or without pain to life threatening bowel ischemia secondary to strangulation. The bulge is usually more noticeable when the abdominal muscles are tightened, thereby increasing the pressure in the abdomen. Activities that increase the intra-abdominal pressure (lifting, coughing, and straining to urinate or have a bowel movement) can worsen a hernia.

A groin hernia will not heal by itself and does require surgery to be repaired. . The right surgery for you will depend on the size of the hernia, whether this is the first time it is getting repaired, the condition of your tissues, and what your general health is like. Most patients will be able to go home the same day.

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