4 Hernia Clinics | Walnut Creek, Concord, Antioch, & Brentwood
April 8, 2023

Hernia Surgery Complications

While hernia complications are not expected to occur after hernia surgery, regardless of how unlikely they may seem, they are still a possibility.

There may be a need for a follow-up procedure to help treat some complications, while some can lead to longer recovery times after the surgery. Below, we have discussed some commonly occurring hernia surgery complications in detail.

Risk and Complications Associated With Hernia Surgery

Following are the complications that can occur during or after an open repair hernia surgery or a laparoscopy:


Surgeons ensure homeostasis after the surgery is completed, but mild bleeding can still happen. When this happens, it can at times cause blood to collect in the space where the initial hernia occurred. You will notice the affected site getting black or blue if this occurs, and it can take up to a couple of weeks to fade.

In most cases, warming compresses and time will allow full recovery. Additionally, it may occur on men's penis and scrotums, and women's thighs or vulvae. You should contact your surgeon if you notice the bruises and experience discomfort.


Infections are very rare after laparoscopic hernia repair. A surgical incision infection is treated by opening the incision and sometimes giving an antibiotic. If the infection is caused by mesh, then mesh removal will help fix it.

Acute and Chronic Pain 

Generally, there is mild to moderate incisional pain and mild groin discomfort following a hernia repair. In most cases, this will disappear by the 3rd or 4th week after surgery. During surgery, the gas used, the dissection, or rarer, the mesh material and the tacks may cause groin discomfort. 

Bladder and Urine

A laparoscopic hernia repair can cause urinary retention in some patients. In such an event, a temporary urinary catheter may be inserted, for a couple of days following surgery. 

During a hernia surgery, bladder injuries are extremely rare but having had prostate surgery in the past may put you at risk. We highly recommend discussing this with your doctor before your hernia surgery. 


In hernia surgeries, recurrence is often a late complication. This usually occurs when the repaired tissues are overstretched or because of tissue ischemia or deep infection. The major cause of recurrent hernias is early overactivity, which limits fibrous tissue formation around the affected area.

Mesh erosion\migration 

Inguinal or femoral hernias may cause mesh migration or erosion. There are two types of mesh migration: primary and secondary.

When the mesh dislodges due to inadequate fixation or external forces, it is known as primary or mechanical migration. In secondary movement, the mesh is slowly pushed through nearby anatomical structures by an immune response to a foreign body. It can cause urinary tract infections or hematuria in the bladder and bowel, as well as spermatic cord problems.

What Are ‘Not Complications’ After a Hernia Surgery?

It is likely that every patient will encounter a number of expected things after hernia surgery. Here is a list of things that are not complications after a hernia surgery:

  • Nausea - this is uncommon, but you may experience nausea as a side effect of anesthesia.
  • Bruising - you might experience some bruising around the surgical area, which can take a couple of weeks to heal. There may also be a slight swelling following this.
  • Pain - it is normal to feel some level of pain and discomfort after the surgery. It is best to take the painkillers your doctor has prescribed and rest well.
  • Difficulty urinating - some patients experience difficulty urinating after surgery due to anesthetics.

Since these issues mostly resolve on their own and do not require immediate medical assistance, they are no complications. The best way to speed up the recovery time is by following your doctor’s instructions carefully and avoiding any strenuous physical activity till you are healed. Talk to your doctor about which hernia treatment plan is right for you, or contact Hernia Innovations where we specialize in Hernia Surgery Treatments for patients like you. Contact us today for an appointment by sending us a message or calling us at (925) 940-1020.