Understanding Indirect Inguinal Hernias | Surgical Associates of Cleveland

Here at Surgical Associates of Cleveland, we repair many hernias for folks in our community of Bradley County and beyond. When we talk about the various types of hernias, you may hear us refer to an indirect inguinal hernia. Indirect inguinal hernias are a timely topic for April, as it is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month and this type of hernia is considered a risk factor for the disease. We’ve put together some basic facts you should know about this common hernia.

An inguinal hernia occurs when there is a protrusion of tissue within the groin area. Among males, they can extend into the scrotum. An indirect inguinal hernia refers to an inguinal hernia caused by an opening of the inguinal canal which did not close as it should during fetal development. People have two inguinal canals which travel through the abdominal wall and down to the genitals. If an inguinal canal fails to close completely by birth, a bit of fat or intestine may slip through and cause the hernia.

What should you know about indirect inguinal hernias?

What are the risk factors?
Certain risk factors can increase the potential of an indirect inguinal hernia. These include:

  • Heredity
  • Being a male
  • Being born prematurely

What are the symptoms of an indirect inguinal hernia?
Not everyone will experience bothersome symptoms from their hernia, which is why some people choose to forgo treatment, and also why many of these hernias may go unnoticed for years. Among the symptoms that can occur:

  • A noticeable bulge along the pubic or groin area which may appear to increase in size upon standing up or coughing
  • Pain upon coughing, exercising, or bending down
  • Burning sensations, a sharp pain, or heavy/full sensation within the groin
  • In men, a swelling of the scrotum

Do you have any questions about hernias and their repair? We are pleased to offer minimally invasive surgical repair, including robotic-assisted and laparoscopic surgery. Your physician can help you determine what kind of surgery is right for you. To learn more about our services, visit our website today.