Inguinal hernias are among the oldest surgical challenges, having been recognized by the Egyptians in 1500 BC and Hippocrates in 400 BC. Celsus in 40 AD described Roman surgical practice, including manual hernia reduction for strangulated hernia, truss for reducible hernia and surgery only for pain. The operation was performed via a scrotal incision and the wound was left open for secondary healing to increase scarring. Scar tissue was considered optimal reinforcement of the weak abdominal wall [5,23.24]. In the middle Ages, Guy de Chauliac contributed to the advance of hernia surgery by distinguishing femoral from inguinal hernias. Caspar Stromayr (1559) was the first to write a textbook on hernia repair, the Practica coposia. During the Renaissance, inguinal hernia anatomy was studied by cadaveric dissection. Sir Percival Pott was one of the first to suggest the congenital origin of hernias. He described the pathophysiology of a strangulated inguinal hernia in 1757 [5,23.24].

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H.J. Bonjer (Jaap)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Knook, M. T. T. (2002, September 25). Endoscopic inguinal hernia repair. Retrieved from