Hernia repair

  • Definition

    Hernia repair is surgery to correct a hernia. A hernia is an abnormal bulging of internal organs, often the intestine, through a weakness in a muscular wall.

    Alternative Names



    This article focuses on surgery to repair a hernia. For information on a specific type of hernia see:

    • Inguinal hernia
    • Femoral hernia
    • Hiatal hernia
    • Umbilical hernia

    Before surgery, you will be given a sedative to make you drowsy. A local or spinal numbing medicine (anesthesia) will be used so you do not feel pain during the procedure. In some cases, the procedure is done while you are under general anesthesia (unconscious and pain-free).

    The surgeon makes a cut over the area of the hernia. The bulging tissue or organ is placed back inside the muscle wall, the muscle tissue is repaired, and the skin is closed. In many inguinal hernia repairs, a small piece of plastic mesh is used to repair the defect in the muscle tissue.

    Laparoscopic hernia repair is becoming more popular. This approach uses a minimally invasive technique.


    Hernia repair may be recommended when a hernia is painful or symptoms interfere with daily activities. It may also be done when there are large bulges through a small hole, which interferes with blood flow or causes a blocked intestine.

    Most hernias should be repaired to prevent the possible complications of restricted blood flow or blocked intestine.