A bilateral hernia occurs when hernias develop on both the right and the left sides of the groin. This type of hernia is commonly a congenital condition found in children and also associated with age and straining in elderly men.
Patients with a left inguinal (groin) hernia have a 25% risk of developing an occult right inguinal hernia, though those with a right hernia have only a 10% risk of developing one in the left. Since there is often no pain or bulge, a physical exam is recommended to determine if a bilateral hernia exists.
Bilateral hernias can be repaired through traditional open surgery using two incisions, or in a single laparoscopic procedure. If left untreated, the hernia may become strangulated, which could lead to bowel obstruction. Unless a significant medical condition prevents it, all hernias should be repaired with surgery