The recurrence rate was determined for 1,186 men aged 18 to 96 years (average, 56 years) operated on for inguinal herniation between Jan 1, 1968 and June 30, 1974. (Mean follow-up was three years five months). Fourteen hundred twenty defects were repaired through a modified preperitoneal approach. Eight patients (0.6%), average age 76 years, died postoperatively. One hundred seven patients (9.0%), average age 65 years, have died since. Seventeen percent had bilateral herniation repaired simultaneously. Ninety-four (6.6%) have had recurrence. Indirect inguinal defects predominated (58%), a recurrence rate of 3.7%. Five hundred twenty-three primary direct defects were repaired; 8.2% recurred. There were 237 repairs for recurrence in 216 patients (average age, 59 years), a recurrence rate of 9.7%.