Surgical options


Open repair – local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic AND ‘tension-free’

Laparoscopic (‘keyhole’) repair – general anaesthetic only

The open method for inguinal or femoral hernias, and some umbilical hernias can be carried out using just a local anaesthetic, although the majority of surgeons seem to prefer their patients fully asleep under a general anaesthetic.  I use is the ‘tension free’ method, which my colleagues and I developed when we were at the British Hernia Centre.  For inguinal hernias a small incision is made in the groin.
Throughout the world open repair is the most commonly performed procedure for inguinal hernia and for the majority of hernia patients would be the technique of choice.

Keyhole, or laparoscopic surgery, is carried out through small holes in the abdomen, with a telescope and special instruments. The surgeon watches what he is doing on a television screen.  It is certainly a good method for some hernias, but it does have some disadvantages, one of which is that it can only be carried out under a general anaesthetic.


Comparing open with laparoscopic

“…scientific evaluation of the total extraperitoneal (TEP) and Lichtenstein mesh techniques for the repair of inguinal hernia…”