A hernia develops when an internal part of your body, such as an organ, pushes through a weak area in the surrounding muscle or tissue.
The most common type of hernia is called an inguinal hernia. Inguinal hernias are located in the lower abdomen just above the leg crease, near or adjacent to the pubic area. This is when tissue or part of your bowel, such as the intestine, protrudes into your groin area. It can appear as a lump or bulge in your groin or as an enlarged scrotum (the pouch containing the testicles). The lump may be painful, especially when you cough, bend over or lift a heavy object. Inguinal hernias are most common in older men. As you get older, the muscles around your tummy can become weaker. This type of hernia is also associated with repeated strain on the tummy. If your hernia is painful or getting bigger, you may need a routine operation to repair it. A hernia does not get better on its own and can cause complications. An inguinal hernia can be repaired using either standard open or keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery. Your surgeon will explain their experience and discuss which type of procedure suits you best. Keyhole surgery may be recommended if you have been treated for a hernia before, but it has returned.
Umbilical hernias occur near the bellybutton or navel, when tissue or a part of the bowel protrudes into the tummy. It causes the belly button to pop outwards. Umbilical hernias may occur in infants at or just after birth and may resolve by three or four years of age. However, the area of weakness can persist throughout life and can occur in men, women, and children at any time. They are sometimes caused by abdominal pressure due to being overweight, excessive coughing, or pregnancy or as a result of repeated strain on the tummy. In adults, if the umbilical hernia is not repaired, it is likely to get bigger over time and cause discomfort. To prevent complications, surgery is recommended in most cases. The operation to repair an umbilical hernia is straightforward and takes about 20 to 30 minutes. You are given a general anaesthetic. This means that you are asleep during the operation and do not feel any pain.
Femoral hernias, along with inguinal hernias are groin hernias. They are much more common in women but can occur in men. These hernias appear just below the groin crease. A weakness in the lower groin allows an intestinal sac to drop into the femoral canal, a space near the femoral vein that carries blood from the leg. These hernias are more prone than inguinal hernias to develop incarceration or strangulation as an early complication. Therefore, once these hernias are diagnosed, early repair is very strongly advised before such complications occur.
A hernia that appears in the abdomen at the site of a previous surgery is known as an incisional hernia. These hernias can appear weeks, months, or even years after surgery and can vary in size from small to very large and complex. If you think you have an incisional hernia, it is important to see your doctor because it may widen and become extremely difficult to repair.
Ventral (incisional) hernia
A ventral or incisional hernia specifically describes a hernia, often in the middle of the abdomen, that occurs after a prior incision was made during a prior operation. The size of the hernia varies considerably from small to gigantic. Symptoms of a ventral hernia include: a small to large bulge at or near an old surgical incision; discomfort or sharp pain-especially when straining, lifting, or exercising-that improves when resting; a burning, gurgling, or aching feeling at the bulge; intestinal obstructions can occur when the intestines are blocked due to scar tissue.
Here at Highgate Private Hospital, we have an expert team of hernia repair consultants. We offer all-inclusive self-pay packages for hernia repair including (terms and conditions apply):
- Repair of inguinal hernia (unilateral). Guide price: £2,481
- Laparoscopic repair of inguinal hernia (keyhole surgery) (unilateral). Guide price: £2,617.
- Repair of umbilical hernia. Guide price: £2,381.
- Open repair of incisional/ventral hernia not requiring mesh. Guide price: £2,571.
- Open femoral hernia repair using mesh (unilateral). Guide price: £2,631.
- Open repair of incisional/ventral hernia with mesh. Guide price: £2,751.
- Laparoscopic repair of incisional or ventral hernia requiring mesh (keyhole surgery) Guide price: £2,797
- Repair of Recurrent Incisional or Ventral Hernia requiring mesh (Surgipro/Prolene/Ultrapro/Perflixplug). Guide price: £3,439.
For more information, please call our friendly self-pay advisers on