The aim of the study was determination of character and duration of the complaints before operation compared with size and type of a hernia determined during the surgery.Material and methods. 200 patients (181 males and 19 females) with 298 hernias were surveyed for the duration of the ailment and its type. Hernias of the II and III size grade (acc. to Schumpelick) constituted 73.48% of cases and recurrent hernias constituted 8.4%.Results. 179 times patients reported thickening as a complaint. In 120 cases thinking in the groin was combined with a sensation of pressure or burning/pain. Pressure or pain appeared 62 times as a spontaneous complaint. 57 hernias (19.12%) were not discovered by the patients. The patients were divided into age groups: <45, 46-65 and >65 years. Mean duration of a thickening was 12.05 and 15.65 months in the groups <45 and 46-65, respectively, and 21.01 months in the group >65 (p<0.01). The patients were divided into professional groups: blue collars, white collars, sportsmen, pensioners blue collars and pensioners white collars. Blue collars and sportsmen reported for treatment earlier than the other groups (p<0.01). Recurrent inguinal hernias were observed by the patients for a longer period of time, than in case of other hernias (p<0.01. Earlier than in a year after onset of symptoms 78.21% of the patients reported for treatment because of a thickening, 76.56% because of the sensation of urgency and 89.24% because of burning sensation/pain. Duration of pressure and/or pain depend not on the type of hernia. Duration of hernia symptoms does not influence the number of cases with pressure and pain.Conclusions. The most frequent complaint is a thickening in the groin. Duration of symptoms does not influence the number of patients with pain complaints. Blue collars and sportsmen report for therapy earlier and pain tolerance does not depend on a patient's age. One fifth of hernias treated surgically were discovered neither by a patient nor by a referring physician.