An inguinal hernia occurs in the abdomen near the groin area and is a protrusion of the abdominal contents through an acquired or congenital area of weakness or defect in the abdominal wall just above the inguinal ligament. The resulting bulge can be painful, especially when you cough, bend over or lift a heavy object.
Not all inguinal hernias need to be repaired as an emergency, but all hernia repairs require surgery. Asymptomatic inguinal hernias in men, depending on different factors, can be observed; if symptoms develop, they can be repaired electively. Repair may be through a standard incision or laparoscopically.