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Hernia Surgery

Expert treatment to repair hernias, including surgery for inguinal, femoral, umbilical and hiatus hernias,

A hernia happens when an internal part of your body pushes through a weakness in the surrounding muscle or tissue. Some can’t be seen, but others show as a lump or cause redness. Hernia symptoms include pain, swelling and discomfort, though many people don’t experience any side effects.  

Most hernias happen somewhere between the shoulders and hips. They are more common in men but women also experience hernias. The most common type is an inguinal hernia. It’s thought that about 27% of men and around 3% of women will develop an inguinal hernia at some point in their life.i 

Hernia surgery aims to correct the problem by moving the misplaced part back into the right place, fixing the weakness that allowed it to push through, and sometimes reinforcing your tissue so that everything stays in place.  

Hernias come under the specialty of General Surgery. The type of doctor who treats hernias is called a General Surgeon.  

Find out more about hernias 

How much does a hernia operation cost?

The price of hernia surgery will depend on the type of hernia and the type of surgery you have. Below we have outlined the most common types and included prices too.  

For many people, a hernia will not present with symptoms. For others, symptoms could include:  

  • A dull aching sensation 
  • Pain at the site, which might be constant or intermittent, perhaps flaring up when you bend or lift something, or even when you laugh or cough 
  • A noticeable lump that goes away when you lie down (and when you push it in) 
  • Redness or swelling at the site 

If you are at all worried that you might have a hernia, you should speak to your doctor as soon as possible. Occasionally, hernias can cause serious complications, so it is always good to get them checked out.  

How do I know if I need hernia surgery?

Hernias don’t heal by themselves, so you should always speak to a doctor if you have or believe you have one. Your GP will be able to refer you to a General Surgeon, who will help you decide on the best course of action for you.  

For many people, surgery will be the best option. At The Alexandra Hospital in Cheadle, we regularly treat patients with hernias. Our team of highly experienced Consultant General Surgeons offer private hernia repair to people from Manchester, Stockport and Cheshire. We also welcome patients from further afield, who come from across the UK, as well as abroad, to benefit from the experience of our team. 

There are various types of hernia that can occur, each with different causes and presentation. These include:

Below we’ve gone into more detail on the types we see most commonly at The Alexandra Hospital.

Inguinal hernias

An inguinal hernia occurs when a section of your bowel such as your intestine, or abdominal fatty tissue, pushes through a weak spot within your abdominal wall and into your inguinal canal (a tunnel that runs through your abdominal wall). There are two types of inguinal hernias: indirect inguinal hernias and direct inguinal hernias. You may know the inguinal area better by it’s common name: the groin.

An indirect inguinal hernia forms when the internal entrance to your inguinal canal, which normally closes after you are born, remains open. In most cases, an indirect inguinal hernia is diagnosed before a baby’s first birthday. But it is possible for this hernia to appear in your adulthood.

A direct inguinal hernia is more prevalent among adults. It develops when a part of your bowel bulges through a weak spot in your abdominal muscles and into your groin. This type of inguinal hernia tends to happen as we age, because the muscles around your abdomen (tummy) weaken as you become older.

Inguinal hernias account for around 70% of all hernias in the UK.ii

Femoral hernias

Like inguinal hernias, femoral hernias also happen when part of the bowel or fatty tissue pokes through from your abdomen and into your groin. They are much less common, affecting mainly women. They are thought to happen due to repeated strain on the stomach, and so are more likely to happen as we get older.

Umbilical hernias

An umbilical hernia is a painless lump that appears in or close to your belly button. This type of most hernia is most common in infants and children. They are usually caused by a failure of the umbilical cord and naval to close after birth, which is a common occurrence. In most babies, this will naturally repair itself after a couple of months. If this doesn’t happen, it can be fixed with surgery.

Hiaitus hernias

With a hiatus hernia, also known as a hiatal hernia, a part of your stomach pushes up into your chest through a weakness in your diaphragm. It’s not known what causes this type of hernia, however they are thought to be linked to obesity and old age.

Inguinal hernias can appear on one or both sides of your groin (upper inner thigh). They can look like a swelling in your groin or cause an enlarged scrotum (a pouch that sits behind the penis in men). This swelling might be painful and could lead to other complications.  

Hernias can cause a number of issues. For example, if a part of your bowel becomes stuck within your hernia, it can obstruct food from passing through your bowel. This is known as obstruction and can cause abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.  

If the blood supply to the tissue within your inguinal hernia or a part of your bowel becomes cut off (strangulation), it can trigger severe pain in your abdomen and hernia. The skin over your hernia could become red and your bowels might stop functioning.  

Inguinal hernia repair surgery is an effective treatment for these issues, and one that we perform routinely and successfully at The Alexandra Hospital. We see patients from Manchester, Stockport, Cheshire and further afield.  

What happens during inguinal hernia repair surgery at The Alexandra Hospital?

A Consultant General Surgeon at The Alexandra Hospital will perform your inguinal hernia repair surgery. This will either be performed through keyhole surgery (where small incisions and specialist instruments are used to repair your hernia) or open surgery, which uses a single incision to treat your hernia. At your consultation at The Alexandra Hospital, your Consultant will provide further information about the type of surgery that best suits your needs.  

Open surgery for inguinal hernias

If your Consultant recommends open inguinal hernia repair surgery, you could be administered either a local anaesthetic or a spinal anaesthetic (an anaesthetic injection into your spine) before your procedure. This will prevent you from experiencing any pain during your surgery.  

After you have been administered anaesthetic, your Consultant will begin your open inguinal hernia repair surgery by making a small incision over your hernia.  

Your hernia, whether this is a lump of fatty tissue or loop of bowel, is placed back into your abdomen and a mesh is placed over the weakened part of your abdominal wall. As you recover from your surgery, your own tissue will grow through the mesh and strengthen your abdominal wall.  

Laparoscopic surgery for inguinal hernias

But if you are advised to have laparoscopic (keyhole) inguinal hernia repair surgery, this is typically performed under general anaesthetic, which means you will be asleep during the procedure. 

If you are advised to have keyhole surgery, an incision will be made near your belly button and two small further incisions will be created on your lower abdomen (tummy). 

Your Consultant will use carbon dioxide gas to inflate your abdomen and a small telescope will be placed through one of these incisions to examine your hernia.  

There are two methods that are used to repair your inguinal hernia. In TAPP (transabdominal preperitoneal) laparoscopic surgery, specialised instruments are passed through the other two incisions and into the muscle wall of your abdomen and peritoneum (the lining that covers your abdominal organs). A section of your peritoneum is then placed over your hernia and a piece of mesh is attached to the weakened part of your abdominal wall.   

During TEP (totally extraperitoneal) laparoscopic surgery, your abdominal cavity (the space around the organs in your tummy) is not entered. Instead, surgery is performed in the space between your abdominal muscles and the lining of your abdomen.  

It can take between 30 to 60 minutes to perform open or laparoscopic surgery for inguinal hernias.  

The price of surgery for an inguinal hernia at The Alexandra Hospital can start from £2,600* 

The cost of your inguinal hernia repair surgery at The Alexandra Hospital in Manchester will vary depending on your circumstances, the type of anaesthetic and procedure that you will need.  

If you have an inguinal hernia on one side of your lower abdomen (unilateral) and are advised to have laparoscopic inguinal repair surgery, this can vary between £2,600 to £3,320 at The Alexandra Hospital. The cost of having laparoscopic hernia repair surgery on both sides (bilateral) is up to £4,243. 

If you are advised to have open surgery, the cost of repairing an inguinal hernia on one side of your abdomen (unilateral) can be up to £2943. The cost of open surgery on both sides (bilateral) can range between £3,300 to £4,418.*  

This price does not include your initial consultation or any tests you might have a that point. It does include the cost of all following appointments with your Consultant as well as any hospital fees. If you need aftercare, this will also be included. 

The cost of your treatment at The Alexandra Hospital in Manchester can be paid through your private medical insurance or using our flexible payment plans. For further information,  visit our payment option page. 

*These prices are just given as a guide and only apply to self-funding patients. The cost for each individual will depend on their personal circumstances. You will always be given a fixed price in writing before any treatment takes place.  

Femoral hernias do not always cause symptoms. However, many people do experience symptoms, including: 

  • A bulge in your groin, near your upper thigh (this may become worse when you stand up or strain – for example when lifting) 
  • Pain and discomfort (which again may be worse in the above circumstances) 
  • Prolonged constipation 

The nature of femoral hernias makes it important to have them treated as soon as possible. Surgery will usually be recommended. 

What happens during femoral hernia repair surgery at The Alexandra Hospital?


Laparoscopic surgery is the procedure we favour for femoral hernia repair, because it is a ‘keyhole’ procedure that has a shorter recovery time than open surgery. This is performed under general anaesthetic, which means you’ll be asleep the whole time. 

Your General Surgeon will make a few small incisions around the site of your hernia, through which they will pass a tiny camera, along with specially designed surgical instruments. The camera is connected to a monitor so that your Surgeon can see what is happening inside your groin.  

Femoral hernia repair surgery involves pushing the hernia back into its correct position and then strengthening the abdominal wall with a lightweight synthetic mesh. This should stop the hernia from popping out again.

The cost of treatment for a femoral hernia will be different for every patient. Your Consultant will put together a bespoke care plan based on your individual needs. Once this has been agreed, we will give you a fixed price for the course of treatment, which will be confirmed in writing before we start. 

This price does not include your initial consultation or any tests you might have a that point. It does include the cost of all following appointments with your Consultant as well as any hospital fees. If you need aftercare, this will also be included. 

The cost of your treatment at The Alexandra Hospital in Manchester can be paid through through your private medical insurance or using our flexible payment plans. For further information, visit our payment option page. 

This should stop the hernia from popping out again.  

Umbilical hernias can present with symptoms including:  

Abdominal bloating 

  • Abdominal bloating
  • General soreness and pain around the area 
  • Redness around the area 
  • Nausea 

If an umbilical hernia does not naturally heal, it can be treated with abdominal surgery. This will normally be done using a keyhole (laparoscopic) operation because it is less invasive and allows for a faster recovery. This will be done under general anaesthetic, meaning you will be asleep the whole time. 

What happens during umbilical hernia repair surgery at The Alexandra Hospital?


During laparoscopic surgery, your Surgeon will make a few small incisions around your belly button to gain access to your abdomen. A small camera and surgical instruments will be inserted through these holes, and the surgeon will use a specially designed machine to see exactly what they’re doing inside your abdomen without having to ‘open’ it.  

Using a lightweight synthetic mesh, your Surgeon will push the hernia back into its correct place and secure it there. The mesh will strengthen your abdominal wall, which should prevent the hernia from popping out again.  

Surgery generally takes around 45 minutes and is done as a day-case procedure, meaning you can go home the same day you have surgery. 

The price of umbilical hernia surgery at The Alexandra Hospital ranges from £2,438 to £3,087*

This price does not include your initial consultation or any tests you might have a that point. It does include the cost of all following appointments with your Consultant as well as any hospital fees. If you need aftercare, this will also be included. 

The cost of your treatment at The Alexandra Hospital in Manchester can be paid through your private medical insurance or using our flexible payment plans. For further information,  visit our payment option page. 

*These prices are just given as a guide and only apply to self-funding patients. The cost for each individual will depend on their personal circumstances. You will always be given a fixed price in writing before any treatment takes place.  

The main symptoms experienced by people with hiatal hernias are to do with the stomach. They can include: 

  • Heartburn 
  • Gas 
  • Trouble swallowing 
  • Acid reflux 

Severe cases can lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).  

Many of these symptoms can be managed using anti-reflux medications and treatments that reduce your production of stomach acid.  

What happens during hiatus hernia repair surgery at The Alexandra Hospital?


If your General Surgeon recommends an operation to repair your hiatal hernia, this will usually be done using a laparoscopy (also known as keyhole surgery). You will be given a general anaesthetic, meaning you will be asleep for the whole operation.  

During the procedure, your Surgeon will make a few small incisions around the site of your hernia, through which they will insert specially made surgical instruments. A tiny camera will also be inserted, which will project onto a screen so that your Surgeon can see everything that’s going on inside your abdomen.  

To correct the hernia, your stomach will be moved back into place and secured there; sometimes it will be stapled to the inner abdominal wall, or wrapped around the lower oesophagus. If your surgeon thinks there’s a danger of future complications, they may also close the hole (‘hiatus’) through which your stomach has been protruding. 

The cost of treatment for a hiatal hernia will be different for every patient. Your Consultant will put together a bespoke care plan based on your individual needs. Once this has been agreed, we will give you a fixed price for the course of treatment, which will be confirmed in writing before we start.

The cost of your treatment at The Alexandra Hospital in Manchester can be paid through your private medical insurance or using our flexible payment plans. For further information,  visit our payment option page. 

*These prices are just given as a guide and only apply to self-funding patients. The cost for each individual will depend on their personal circumstances. You will always be given a fixed price in writing before any treatment takes place.  

After your hernia repair operation, you will be able to eat, drink and be encouraged to move around.  

In most cases, you will be allowed to leave hospital the same day or the day after your surgery. If you have been given general anaesthetic, you will be advised to avoid driving for at least 48 hours following your surgery. 

Before you leave us, your Consultant at The Alexandra Hospital will provide you with more information regarding your recovery. They’ll give you instructions on how to look after your wound, including advice on how to bathe safely. Be sure to pay attention, as following their advice will aid your recovery.  

They may also talk to you about the chance of constipation, and the importance of eating a diet high in fibre to avoid this. If you strain when going to the toilet after hernia surgery, it can be very painful. A diet of high fibre foods such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans and pulses can help to keep your bowel movements soft. 

For the first couple of weeks, you will probably need to restrict yourself to gentle exercise such as walking, and make sure you balance this with lots of rest. Around two weeks after surgery, most people find they are able to get back to doing light activities, such as shopping and running errands.  

Strenuous activities and heavy lifting should be avoided for at least four to six weeks. After six weeks, most patients will have made a complete recovery.  

Find out more about recovering from a hernia operation. 

As with any surgery, there are possible risks with having hernia repair surgery, including a wound infection. However, if you do suffer an infection, this can be treated with antibiotics.

There is a low risk of developing a blood clot after hernia repair surgery. But your Consultant might give you blood thinners to further minimise this risk. You could also experience severe bruising (haematoma) but this should resolve with time.

As well as providing you with Consultant-led care, there are many benefits to having treatment at The Alexandra Hospital in Manchester, including:  

  • Fast access to quality healthcare
  • A bespoke treatment plan built around your needs 
  • Consistent care from the same compassionate team, led by an experienced Consultant 
  • Private en-suite hospital rooms, with your own telephone and TV (and free WiFi) 
  • Warm and nutritious meals, cooked onsit
  • Convenient hospital access via public transport for patients based in Greater Manchester, Cheshire East, Trafford and Tameside 
  • Free car parking onsite 

If you have suffered complications from your hernia, The Alexandra Hospital’s private urgent care centre allows you to access immediate treatment. Our multidisciplinary team of specialists will assess your symptoms and decide on the best treatment option for you. 

If you would like to learn more, you can call our team directly or book your appointment online today. 

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Mr Madu Onwudike

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MB, BS, MSc FRCS, FRCS(Gen)

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MBBS, MD, FRCS

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Professor Khursid Akhtar

Consultant General & Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeon

MBBS MD FRCS(Eng) FRCS(Gen)

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Mr Nicola de Liguori Carino

Consultant General and HPB Surgeon

MD Specialist in General Surgery

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Mr Mohammed Saeed

Consultant General & Colorectal Surgeon

BSc (Hons) MD FRCS FRCS (Gen-Surg)

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Mr Christian Macutkiewicz

Consultant General, HPB and Laparoscopic Surgeon

BSc(Hons) MBChB (Hons) MD PGCertEd FHEA FRCS

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