How Long Does Hernia Surgery Take?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on December 22nd, 2022

A hernia occurs when a small portion of the intestine protrudes through a weakened spot in the abdominal wall. Hernias come in various forms but frequently happen in the groin or belly region.

Although hernias may not always be painful, they can nonetheless result in overall discomfort that becomes worse with time. Hernia procedures can be carried out in a variety of ways. Your doctor will assess your health and determine the best type of surgery after thoroughly inspecting you.

surgeon chops mesh for hernia

How Long Does Hernia Surgery Take?

Hernia surgery is typically a relatively quick procedure, with most routine hernia operations taking between 30 and 90 minutes. Open complex hernia surgeries usually last anywhere from three to six hours.

Most people can return to work within three days to two weeks after surgery, although those who perform manual labor may need more time off. The actual time it takes to complete your hernia surgery depends on the type of hernia, its size, and any possible complications. After the procedure, patients spend about 1-2 hours in the recovery room before being allowed to go home the same day.

Most hernia repairs are performed laparoscopically or by traditional “open” surgery. The suggested surgical procedure relies on several variables, such as:

  • The hernia’s size
  • Hernia’s location
  • General wellbeing
  • The severity of the hernia’s impact

Open and laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery are options for inguinal hernia repairs.

What Are The Different Types Of Hernia Repair Surgery?

When it comes to hernia repair surgery, there are several different types of surgeries that can be performed depending on the size and type of hernia.

Laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery 

For smaller hernias (less than 1.5 inches in diameter), laparoscopic or robotic surgery may be used. Laparoscopic surgery typically takes about 30 to 90 minutes, while robotic surgery may take slightly longer, up to two hours. Abdominal wall hernia repairs may require up to four hours of surgical time.

Keyhole inguinal hernia repair uses a general anesthetic, so you’ll be unconscious throughout the procedure.

Instead of one major incision in your belly, keyhole surgery often involves three smaller ones.

One of these incisions introduces a laparoscope, a tiny tube with a camera and a light source that allows the doctor to look within your belly.

The surgeon inserts surgical tools into the other incisions to pull the hernia back into place.

There are two different kinds of laparoscopic surgery.

Transabdominal Preperitoneal (TAPP)

Instruments are put through the muscular wall of your belly and the lining surrounding your organs during transabdominal preperitoneal surgery.

A flap of the peritoneum is pulled back over the hernia, and a mesh piece is attached or stapled to it to reinforce the weak spot in your abdominal wall.

Extraperitoneal (TEP)

The most recent keyhole approach includes treating the hernia without accessing the peritoneal cavity, known as totally extraperitoneal surgery.

When the surgery is finished, your skin’s incisions are sealed with surgical glue or stitches.

Open surgery

Open hernia surgery is the most common type and is usually performed when the hernia is larger than 1.5 inches in diameter. Open complex hernia surgery takes a bit longer, between three to six hours, and is typically used for more complex hernias or if multiple hernias are present.

Open inguinal hernia repair frequently requires the injection of a regional anesthetic into the spine or a local anesthetic.

A regional anesthetic implies that even though you will be awake during the surgery, the region being operated on will be anesthetized so that you won’t feel discomfort.

A general anesthetic is occasionally employed. As a result, you won’t experience discomfort during the process since you’ll be sleeping.

The surgeon performs a single incision over the hernia once the anesthetic has taken effect. Typically, this incision measures 6 to 8 centimeters long. The bowel loop or lump of fat is then reinserted into your belly by the surgeon. 

A mesh is implanted in the abdominal wall where the hernia breached to reinforce it.

Stitches will be used to seal your skin when the surgery is finished. Within a few days following the procedure, they often disintegrate independently.

Regardless of the type of surgery that is performed, most people can return to work within three days to two weeks post-surgery. Of course, the recovery time depends on the type of hernia and any possible complications.

What Are the Symptoms of a Hernia?

An obvious lump or protrusion and possible discomfort or pain are typical symptoms of most hernias. When you are standing, exerting yourself, or moving heavy things, your symptoms could get worse. A doctor can usually confirm a hernia with a physical examination, although occasionally, imaging is required.

A bulge is not an indication of a hiatal hernia. However, Hiatal hernias can produce symptoms like acid reflux, heartburn, and regurgitation of liquids or food, which are all frequently managed with medication.

Are There Any Complications Associated With Hernia Surgery?

Hernia surgery is generally considered safe, but as with any other procedure, some potential risks and complications are associated with hernia repair surgery. These include infection, bleeding, nerve damage, and damage to surrounding organs and tissues.

In rare cases, the hernia may recur after the surgery. It’s important to speak to your doctor about the potential risks associated with hernia repair so that you can make an informed decision about the best course of treatment for you.


Hernia surgery is a common and relatively straightforward procedure that can be performed in minutes or hours, depending on the type of hernia and potential complications. Most hernia operations take about 30 to 90 minutes, and most people can return to work within three days to two weeks after surgery. If you have been diagnosed with a hernia, you must talk to your doctor about the best course of treatment for you.


Editorial Staff

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