Inguinal hernias result when abdominal fat or part of the small intestine pushes through the lower abdomen near the groin. These hernias tend to grow larger over time and some adults might require surgery—children and infants always do, according to the NDDIC (National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse). Surgeries include laparoscopic and traditional open procedures, and both carry possible risks.
Laparoscopic procedures require general anesthesia (being completely put under). This carries certain risks ranging from vomiting and nausea to more serious complications like blood clots, stroke and heart attacks. This is more likely in the elderly and people with other health problems, according to the NDDIC.
Both procedures carry a risk of the hernia reoccurring. According to WebMD, both surgeries have equal chances. They note you can reduce this possibility by working with a surgeon who has performed the operation many times--particularly if you are undergoing laparoscopic surgery.
Infection at the incision site can occur but is rare—only about 2 percent of people experience this problem, according to the NDDIC.
Inguinal hernia surgeries can cause damage to the testicles, bladder, kidneys, nerves blood vessels, femoral artery (artery in the thigh), pain in the thigh, painful scarring and cause infertility in men, according to WebMD.
Post-surgery, you might experience pain and discomfort. Doctors typically prescribe pain medications and advise you to refrain from vigorous activity and heavy lifting for at least several weeks. Taking the medications and getting proper rest will encourage healing and reduce the risk of problems. You might also experience mild bleeding.