Conditions that increase the risk of inguinal hernia recurrence

Before surgery

For a variety of reasons, the abdominal muscles in the area that is being repaired may not be strong or healthy enough to "hold" the stitching (suture) material.

Conditions that cause coughing or straining to pass stools or urine (such as lung diseases or prostate or bowel problems) may need to be corrected so that the hernia will not recur after repair.

After surgery

Conditions after surgery that can increase the chances of an inguinal hernia recurring include:

  • Bleeding and infection that weaken the repair.
  • Chronic constipation or bowel blockage (obstruction).
  • Straining during urination or bladder blockage.
  • Lack of exercise.
  • Chronic coughing from smoking or lung disease.
  • Gaining weight or inability to lose weight.
  • Heavy lifting or strenuous activity fewer than 4 weeks after surgery. This may cause the stitches to pull through.
  • Use of corticosteroids or other medicines that suppress the immune system.

Last Updated: April 29, 2009

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