Risks associated with surgery for inguinal hernia

The operation is relatively safe and the possible complications are rare: in any case, knowing the potential risks allows patients to evaluate any post-operative symptoms with greater safety:

  • The risk associated with general anaesthesia, particularly likely in elderly patients or those with prior health problems; this aspect can sometimes be associated with nausea, vomiting, urinary retention, sore throat and headache. Rare and more severe complications include heart attack, stroke, pneumonia and blood clots in the legs (thrombosis). To reduce the risk of thrombosis and pneumonia, it is useful to get out of bed as soon as possible after the operation.

  • It is possible for the hernia to reappear several years after the operation: this is the most common complication.

  • In approx. 2 patients in 100, bleeding occurs requiring further surgery.

  • Although somewhat rare, infections of the surgical wound are in any case possible: more common in adults than in children, they can cause fever, reddening, swelling and pain at the wound site.

  • Sometimes the wound can become a cause of pain, which generally resolves over time.

  • Complications affecting the internal organs near the area of the operation are extremely rare: intestine, bladder, kidneys, nerves, blood vessels, reproductive organs.

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