USC Surgery / Conditions / Inguinal Hernia

Inguinal hernias are the most common type of hernia. They occur more frequently in men than in women due to their occurrence in the inguinal canal, the space in the groin where a man’s testicles typically descend before birth. This space is called the internal inguinal ring, and a hernia can develop here if the space does not seal properly. These hernias can display the symptom of pain in the upper thigh or scrotum. The hernias can be “direct,” when they happen due to the internal inguinal ring’s natural weakness, or “indirect,” resulting from a weakness in the floor of the inguinal canal, which is located right below the internal inguinal ring. Indirect hernias are more common in men over 40.

A direct inguinal hernia is a result of weakness in the floor of the inguinal canal and is more likely to develop in older men over the age of 40. The floor of the inguinal canal is located just below the internal inguinal ring.

When inguinal hernias are repaired with a technique called tension repair, recurrence rates may be higher than 15 percent, which means that the hernia may reappear in time. Other hernia repair techniques, such as tension-free and laparoscopic tension-free, have much lower recurrence rates.

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