Can a groin hernia heal on its own without surgery?

Written by: Mr Ahmed Hamouda
Edited by: Conor Lynch

Here, highly experienced consultant upper GI and bariatric surgeon, Mr Ahmed Hamouda, discusses groin hernias in detail, including symptoms, surgery, and prevention.

What are the symptoms of a groin hernia?

Groin hernias present as a lump in the groin and/or discomfort especially after a bout of intense physical activity or an awkward lifting movement.


Can a groin hernia heal on its own without surgery?

Unfortunately, not. A hernia is a tear in the muscle layer, through which protrudes a sac made of the lining of the abdomen and containing a loop of bowel or internal body fat. Once the tear has occurred, the hernia does not reverse and can only get bigger over a period of time. The only treatment is surgery, with the alternative being to watch and wait until it becomes symptomatic or larger.


What are the different types of surgeries available for repairing a groin hernia?

By and large, the repair is performed under an anaesthetic and can be open or keyhole surgery. There are advantages and disadvantages for both procedures which is best discussed with me in consultation.


The general rule is that for one-sided groin hernias, the open and keyhole procedure have similar recovery and healing rates. For bilateral groin hernias, the keyhole procedure is far superior in terms of recovery, scarring, and healing.


How long is the recovery period after hernia repair surgery?

Once the operation is done, expect some bruising and swelling in the area which can take two weeks to resolve. I would recommend not driving for two weeks and no heaving lifting for six weeks following surgery.


Are there any lifestyle changes or precautions recommended to prevent a groin hernia?

If heavy lifting or straining movements are avoided, it may decrease the risk of forming one. However, some families have an increased risk of having hernias and it is difficult to predict who will develop one. It is best to speak to a healthcare professional if you suspect you have a hernia to outline your options and minimise the risk of obstruction or strangulation of the bowel in a hernia.


If you wish to consult with Mr Ahmed Hamouda today, simply head over to his Top Doctors profile.

By Mr Ahmed Hamouda

Mr Ahmed Hamouda is a highly respected consultant upper GI and bariatric surgeon based in Kent. He is renowned for his expertise in bariatric surgery, as well as gallbladder and abdominal hernia surgery. He also specialises in reflux surgery and balloon endoscopy procedures.

Mr Hamouda qualified in medicine at Ain Shams University, Egypt in 1992 before pursuing further training within a residency programme in general surgery. He later relocated to the UK to undertake specialty training, including an esteemed year-long laparoscopic biliary fellowship in Glasgow, where he gained invaluable expertise in minimally-invasive cholecystectomy and bile duct exploration procedures. Following the completion of his surgery specialty training, he also completed a six-month advanced bariatric fellowship in a renowned Centre for Excellence in Bariatric Surgery. For over ten years, Mr Hamouda served as an upper GI consultant at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust and is now based at Nuffield Health Tunbridge Wells Hospital, where he is an integral part of the bariatric service, bringing with him his wealth of expertise and experience in endoscopic sleeve, gastric band and gastric bypass procedures, amongst many others. He also sees private patients at the KIMS Hospital in Maidstone, the Benenden Hospital in Cranbrook and Sevenoaks Medical Centre.

Throughout his esteemed career, Mr Hamouda has been involved in the education of medical students and his academic excellence earned him a university lectureship post shortly after graduating in medicine. Additionally, he has published a number of academic papers which appear in peer-reviewed journals. He regularly participates in important meetings within his field and is a member of a number of key professional bodies, including the British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society, the Association of Laparoscopic Surgeons and the European Association of Endoscopic Surgery. He is also director and lead bariatric surgeon at Weight Loss Surgery Kent.

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