Inguinal Hernia

Abdominal wall hernias occur when a part of an internal organ (typically the small intestine) breaks through a tear or weak point in the abdominal wall. Then this occurs in the lower abdominal or groin area near the scrotum it is called an inguinal hernia and can be present on one or both sides of the body.

Inguinal hernias are most common in men, with a 25% risk of an occurrence over a male’s lifetime.  Women only have a 3% risk.

See more detailed information below.

Free Hernia Information Session and Screening

The return to function and quality of life starts here

Hennepin Healthcare is offering a free session for community members to learn more about hernias and the latest treatment techniques.  Hernias can happen to anyone and can limit your participation in activities and impact your quality of life.

Hernias will not resolve on their own and can only be repaired with surgery. Fortunately, many hernias can now be repaired with robotic-assisted minimally invasive procedures. This technique reduces recovery time, pain and potential complications.

We invite you, or a colleague or family member who may have a hernia, to attend a free information session with our surgery team.


9:00 – 9:30 am, Presentation for Jon Krook, MD and Ashley Marek, MD
9:30 – 10:00 am, Demonstrations of the da Vinci Robotic Surgery System
9:30 – 11:00 am,  Optional hernia screening discussion with Dr. Krook or Dr. Marek

Saturday, October 13, 9  – 11 am

715 South 8th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55404


csc mapFree parking is available in the Clinic & Specialty Center’s underground garage off of Park Avenue between 8th and 9th Streets. Take the elevator to the first floor for our event.

hernia illustration

Signs and Symptoms

  • A lump or bulge on one or both sides of the groin that is apparent when standing and can sometimes disappear when lying down. For males, they can sometimes experience a swollen and/or painful scrotum.
  • Pain or discomfort during physical exertion, straining or lifting.
  • Weakness or pressure in the groin.

Incarcerated and Strangulated Inguinal Hernias

The term incarcerated hernia refers to an inguinal hernia in which the small intestine cannot be massaged back into a normal position within the abdomen, and remains extended through the abdominal wall in the lower abdomen, groin or scrotum. This can lead to a strangulated hernia, in which the blood supply is cut off to the incarcerated small intestine. This condition can result in tissue death and requires immediate medical attention.

Symptoms can include:

  • Pain and redness in the area of the incarcerated hernia that can sometimes worsen in a short period of time.
  • Fever
  • Accelerated heart rate

When to Seek Treatment for an Inguinal Hernia

Inguinal hernias are a serious medical condition and result in serious complications, cause pain, limit activities and impact your quality of life. It’s important to seek an evaluation by a general surgeon to discuss treatment options.

New Surgical Advances

Today, many inguinal hernias can be treated with minimally invasive procedures that reduce your recovery time and reduce your chance of surgical complications or infections.

At Hennepin Healthcare, we now utilize a robotic device, the da Vinci System, for many of these procedures. Utilization of the da Vinci provides unique advantages to you, including:

  • Smaller incisions than a typical open surgical procedure
  • Most often, less time in the hospital
  • Faster recovery due to the smaller incision size
  • Reduced risk of infection

Appointments to discuss your condition and possible treatments can be made by calling 612-873-6963.

Healthy Matters

Ask the Surgeons

Dr. David Hilden discusses hernias and hernia surgeries with guests Dr. Ashley Marek and Dr. Jon Krook. | 9-16-2018