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Patient Care

Hernias, Treatment Options and Benefits

What is a Hernia?

A hernia is an abnormal bulge/defect in the abdominal wall or groin area through a weakness in the muscular wall.

Types of Hernias

  • Inguinal (or groin) hernias are the most common. They occur more frequently in men than women and are located where the skin crease at the top of the thigh joins the torso.
  • Femoral hernias occur below the inguinal crease near the mid-thigh. These are more common in women and often contain tissue that is not able to be pushed back in.
  • Umbilical hernias are often present from birth as a protruding belly button. These hernias occur at a naturally weak area of the abdominal wall and often require repair later in life or after pregnancy.
  • Incisional hernias can sometimes occur following abdominal surgeries. The damage to the abdominal wall weakens the muscle and allows for the formation of the hernia. These can often be complex and can occur multiple times. When these occur in the midline of the abdomen they are called ventral hernias.
  • Epigastric hernias occur between the rib cage and the belly button. These occur in areas of relative weakness and often contain fat.

Types of Repair

Hernias usually need to be fixed surgically to prevent intestinal damage and further complications.  Hernia surgery may be performed by an open repair which requires an incision over the herniated area or by laparoscopic or minimally invasive surgery.  Benefits of laparoscopic hernia surgery include having a series of tiny incisions rather than one large incision, decreased postoperative pain, shorter recovery time and earlier resumption of daily activities.  Your surgeon will determine the best method of repair for your individual condition.

Patient Benefits

Our surgeons’ extensive experience with initial, complex and recurrent hernias offers the patient a variety of surgical options from expert surgeons.  We also offer a multidisciplinary approach to patient care with general, bariatric, plastic and trauma surgeons, as well as input from smoking cessation specialists, nutritionists, and pain management specialists.