Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia Repair (TEP)

The information provided within this document is about Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia repair (TEP – totally xtraperitoneal).  Further enquiries should be directed at your consultant.

How does inguinal hernia develop?

The layer of muscle in the abdominal wall can become weaker in certain areas.  This will result in parts of the abdomen pushing through causing a lump called a hernia (see figure 1).

Figure 1
An inguinal hernia

An inguinal hernia occurs at the inguinal canal.  Your inguinal canal is a slender space where blood vessels cross through the abdominal wall. If your intestines or other parts inside your abdomen become trapped here, the blood supply could be cut off causing serious complications (strangulated hernia).

What will I gain from surgery?

Prevention of the more dangerous complications a hernia could cause.  Surgery should remove your hernia.

Do I have any other options apart from surgery?

It can be left alone or occasionally be controlled using a truss (padded support belt).  Without surgery it will not go away.

What’s involved in the operation?

Surgery takes around one hour (or for repair to both sides no more than one and a half hour and a general anaesthetic is administered. Making some small incisions on the abdomen, your surgeon will then insert a telescope and some surgical instruments and complete the operation. The section of the abdomen that has caused the hernia will be returned, and a synthetic mesh will be inserted to cover the weakened area.

Are there any potential complications with this surgery?

Most surgical procedures carry some level of risk or possible complication. These will be discussed with you by your consultant or pre-assessment nurse prior to your procedure.

What is the normal recovery time?

Patients can return home on the same day. Regular activities are usually resumed after a week or whenever you feel comfortable. There is no reason to abstain from lifting, but lifting heavy weights in the first couple of weeks may cause some discomfort. Routine exercise will speed your recovery and will aid in the resume of your usual activities. Your consultant should be consulted before commencing any exercise. It is possible for the hernia to return.


An inguinal hernia is a familiar ailment caused by weak spots in the abdominal wall, close to the inguinal canal. Serious complications could result without treatment.

References: EIDO Healthcare Limited – The operation and treatment information on this website is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Aspen Healthcare.

The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia Repair (TEP) Consultants