A hernia is the abnormal bulging of an internal organ (usually the intestine) through a tear or weakness in the abdominal wall. Many people suffer no pain or symptoms from hernias. However, hernias become potentially serious if the intestine becomes trapped in the balloon-like sac formed by the bulging area. The surgeons at Estrella Surgical Group have specialized training in both open (traditional) and minimally invasive (laparoscopic) hernia repair techniques.

Inguinal (Groin) Hernia

Inguinal hernias occur in the groin and are the most common type of hernia. An inguinal hernia appears as a bulge on one or both sides of the groin. They are only an emergency if the pain is very severe and the bulge won't go away when you put pressure on it or lie down. This may indicate that the intestine is trapped within the hernia sac.


  • A visible bulge on one or both sides of the groin
  • Pain while lifting, bending over or straining
  • Weakness, dull ache, pressure, or burning sensation in the groin or scrotum

When part of the intestine becomes trapped (incarcerated) within the hernia sac, it is a medical emergency. Symptoms of an incarcerated inguinal hernia include:

  • Severe pain and redness
  • Pain that keeps getting worse
  • Fever
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Nausea and vomiting

Seek medical treatment immediately if you experience any symptoms of an incarcerated hernia.


To diagnose an inguinal hernia, the doctor conducts a physical examination. Your doctor will ask you questions about hernia symptoms. During the exam, he or she will look for and feel for a bulge in your groin or scrotal area. You may be asked to stand and cough so the doctor can feel the hernia.


Surgeons at Estrella Surgical Group have performed hundreds of hernia operations. There are two types of operation to repair inguinal hernias.

"Open" hernia repair: is performed as an outpatient procedure. The surgeon makes a three-to four-inch incision in the groin, moves the hernia back into the abdomen, repairs and reinforces the muscle wall with a synthetic mesh or screen to provide additional support. Recovery time is typically four to six weeks.

Laparoscopy: During a laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair, the surgeon makes three small incisions in the lower abdomen and inserts a laparoscope-a thin tube with a tiny video camera attached to one end. The camera gives the surgeon a close-up view of the hernia and surrounding tissue while he performs surgery to repair the hernia using synthetic mesh.

This procedure is particularly well-suited for those patients with hernias on both sides of the groin, or with a recurrent hernia. Not everyone is a candidate for the laparoscopic approach. It is not the best option if the hernia is very large or if the patient has previously had pelvic surgery.

People who undergo laparoscopic surgery generally experience less pain after surgery and a more rapid return to usual activities.