A hernia happens when tissue or an internal organ pushes through a weak muscle area, usually around the abdomen. They can occur due to weak muscles or prior surgery, and are especially common in people who are overweight. Hernias can be painful and may lead to other complications such as gastrointestinal obstructions.
Here at Advanced Surgeons, we perform a variety of procedures using the latest techniques and materials—including minimally invasive laparoscopic surgeries—to repair hernias. We are experienced in using both open and minimally invasive techniques for both primary and recurrent hernias. Take a look at the different types of hernia we treat.
Inguinal hernias are the most common type of hernia. They occur when tissue—often part of the intestine—bulges through a weakness in the abdominal wall in the groin area.
Symptoms can include:
- A bulge around the pubic bone
- A sensation of weakness, heaviness or pressure in the groin
- Groin pain when bending over, coughing or lifting something
Abdominal wall hernia
U.S. surgeons perform about 700,000 abdominal wall hernia operations each year, and these hernias are especially common among men. Inguinal hernias are one type of abdominal wall hernia. Another type is an umbilical hernia, which occurs around the belly button.
Some abdominal wall hernias only cause a painless bulge at the hernia site, while others may cause pain. However, abdominal wall hernias can cause a blockage that cuts off blood supply to the intestines, which can lead to gangrene, inflammation and, in some cases, even death.
Hiatal hernias occur when a piece of the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm into the chest. Acid reflux, chest pain and heartburn are a common symptoms of a hiatal hernia. Other symptoms of large hiatal hernias include difficulty swallowing, chest pain and a feeling of fullness. Most small hiatal hernias don’t have symptoms.
Paraesophageal hernias occur when part of the stomach protrudes into the chest through the opening in diaphragm. These tend to progress in size and can lead to emergencies if the stomach twists and causes a complete blockage or a cut in its blood supply.
Our team works closely with other specialists, including gastroenterologists and radiologists, to identify and plan the best care possible. They are pioneers and experienced in minimally invasive procedures for hiatal hernia repair.
Incisional hernias occur when when tissue protrudes through a prior abdominal surgery cut . Up to a third of patients develop incisional hernias after abdominal surgery, and they can occur months or even years after the procedure. These are more common if prior surgery had been complicated by infection or if patients are overweight.
What to do about a hernia
Most of the time, hernias can be fixed with a surgical procedure. Surgeries can be either open or using minimally invasive techniques.
In open surgery, the surgeon makes an incision near the hernia. Then he or she isolates the hernia and either removes the herniated tissue or pushes it back to where it belongs. The surgeon stitches up the abdominal muscle and will sometimes use a piece of mesh to reinforce the abdominal wall, then closes the incision.
With minimally invasive surgery, the surgeon first makes three to five small incisions. He will insert a camera into one of the incisions and will inflate the abdominal cavity with gas. The surgeon will then repair the hernia using tools inserted through the other incisions, reinforce and stitch the abdominal muscle and close the incisions.
For more information about your options for repairing your hernia, or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.