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Hernia FAQs

Our hernia FAQ section is a collection of common questions that our team receives. If you have a question that is not answered below then we recommend contacting us by calling 020 3370 1014 or emailing us at londonhernia@hje.org.uk.

Frequently asked questions

My hernia was repaired at another Hospital but how long is it before I can resume activities?

Hernia recovery is dependent on the expertise of the surgeon and results can vary. It is best to check with the surgeon who performed the operation to be absolutely sure. Our patients are able to go home on the same day and generally return to normal life over the next three days.

I'm pregnant. Should I have the hernia operation before the baby is born?

The general advice is no but for more information please contact us.

My GP is not sure if I have a hernia, I have no bulge. How can I be certain?”

Although a bulge is a common hernia symptom, it may not be conclusive, not all groin pain is related to a hernia. The only way to know for sure is to see a hernia specialist who will give you expert opinion, even in cases that are difficult to diagnose.

My GP says that if the hernia doesn’t hurt it should be left alone. Do I need a second opinion?

Hernias will only get worse if left untreated and the risk of complications can escalate to the point where a larger, more complex operation is needed. The danger of strangulation is also heightened by neglecting to act. If a hernia has been diagnosed it should be repaired as soon as possible. We have seen many giant hernias that were initially ignored because of well-meaning advice.

What are the symptoms of a hernia – can I diagnose myself?

There are several possible symptoms and explanations for a bulge or a feeling of discomfort so it is best not to try self-diagnosis. If you have symptoms that indicate something is not right then the only course of action is to get it checked out by a doctor.

Is keyhole surgery the best technique available?

Keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery is a very good method for many surgeries but we believe in the efficacy of tension-free repairs that are done with local anaesthesia. Keyhole surgery requires general anaesthesia or spinal injections, which carry additional risks. There are some excellent surgeons performing keyhole hernia repair but experience tells us that the open mesh repair system works best.

Can a hernia cause erectile dysfunction?

It is not uncommon for uncomfortable hernias to cause erection problems but they recede after prompt treatment to the hernia. However, if a hernia is left then a return to normal erectile function can be delayed.

If you are suffering with erectile dysfunction we recommend visiting the Urology Unit.

My GP says I am too old for surgery, is there anything that can be done?

The days when hernia surgery was dangerous for elderly patients is long gone and your problem almost certain can be attended to. The procedures now are safe, quick and effective. We have treated patients much older than 80 so there is nothing to worry about.

What is a spigelian hernia?

Spigelian hernia is a less common hernia in the abdominal wall, slightly to the side of the upper abdomen. They are repaired in the same way as the majority of hernias with tension-free mesh reinforcement. The names of the different hernias really relate to where they are on the body.

What should I do if my child has a hernia?

Hernias in children must not be ignored as problems can develop quickly and potentially damage a child’s development.

Do I need a hernia repair if it doesn’t hurt?

Hernias do not repair themselves and it can get slightly bigger every day. Smaller hernias are quicker and easier to treat so it makes sense to seek advice as soon as possible.

How dangerous is it to ignore the hernia?

Most hernias will just get bigger but can become very painful suddenly and there is a danger of strangulation, which could, in some cases, lead to emergency treatment.

Can I prevent myself from getting a hernia?

There is little that can be done if the abdominal wall is weak but a sensible, healthy lifestyle with a high fibre diet and exercise can minimise the risks.

Do many hernia repairs fail?

Hernia repair failure is now rare with proven techniques that ensure the primary work is successful. The risks or recurrence have dropped to a fraction of one per cent if the correct procedure is followed and a reputable surgeon is consulted.

What is a strangulated hernia?

This happens when the opening in the abdominal wall closes while a fold of the bowel (for example) is poking through. The pressure cuts off the blood supply to the bowel and this is the strangulation, which can have painful effects and require immediate surgery. Pain from a hernia is a warning sign and underscores the need to get it repaired as soon as possible.

Will my hernia be hereditary?

No. Anatomical weakness is a part of the human body so anyone could be susceptible to a hernia.

Should hernias be repaired by hernia specialists?

Most repairs are performed by general surgeons but we believe it is an area that needs specialisation. At London Hernia we have consultants that are dedicated solely to the repair of hernias. This ensures the highest amount of expertise and experience.

What should I do if my insurance, HMO or National Health Service does not cover me for this specialised treatment?

It is your body and your health so you should weigh up all the options. Not all private procedures are prohibitively expensive so it is worth examining treatment options to get the best possible result.

Why should I come to London Hernia if my local hospital says it can do the same operation?

Our team at London Hernia are a highly dedicated and experienced team with a wealth of experience that not every hospital has.

How can I compare my local hospital to London Hernia?

A good guide is to assess how many hernia repairs the hospital and its surgeon have carried out. It is also helpful to know if it will be done under local anaesthsia and if you will be allowed home that day and how long it will be before you can return to work. You can also ask about the risks of recurrence at your local hospital.

How much is an initial consultation at London Hernia?

An initial consultation with one of our Hernia Consultants is just £150.

How much should I expect to pay for hernia surgery?

At London Hernia we have clear and transparent package prices to ensure you know exactly how much you’ll pay for surgery. All of our fixed price self-pay hernia packages include consultation, surgeons fee, anaesthetist fee, pre-operative assessment, the procedure itself and one post-operative appointment. Please note that these packages are for patients who only fit the standard criteria, complex cases will be excluded. View our fixed price packages.

What is the benefit of being treated at a specialist hernia centre?

Research and expert opinion recognize the importance of specialisation for any surgery. If the surgeon, their team and the unit are performing repairs to a high standard daily then there is a clear expectation of a good outcome. London Hernia’s results have improved to such high levels because of our experience with so many cases each year. The experience and expertise gained from doing tens of thousands of hernia repairs is unrivalled.

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Patient information

Our Hospital is renowned for providing exemplary levels of care across more than 90 services. From orthopaedics, to urology, ENT, as well as a private GP practice and our urgent care centre, Casualty First, our services are led by some of London’s leading Consultants. For more information, and to find a service suitable for your care, find out more about the services that we offer.

Make an enquiry

If you have any questions relating to treatment options or pricing information then get in touch with us by filling out one of our contact boxes or giving us a call on 020 3370 1014.

Our Appointments Team have a dedicated and caring approach to finding you the earliest appointment possible with the best specialist.

 If you are self-paying you don’t need a referral from your GP for a consultation. You can simply refer yourself* and book an appointment.

If you have medical insurance (e.g. Bupa, Axa PPP, Aviva), you will need to contact your insurer to get authorisation for any treatment and, in most cases, you will require a referral letter from your GP.

If you do not have a GP, then we have an in-house private GP practice that you can use. Alternatively we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstance.

*Please note – for investigations such as X-rays and MRI’s a referral will be required. However, we may be able to arrange this for you through our on-site private GP.

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