Understanding Hernias

A hernia happens when part of your tissue, or an organ, squeezes into a part of the body where it doesn’t belong. Hernias are caused by excess pressure from things like heavy lifting, coughing, or a weakness in the area where the hernia forms. This bulge may be unnoticeable to you, or it can cause symptoms and need treatment. Most hernias are able to be repaired with a laparoscopic procedure, meaning we make tiny incisions instead of one large incision.

Three primary types of hernia

  • Inguinal hernia accounts for over 95% of the hernia in the groin area.  These hernias are caused by a piece of the bladder or intestines bulging through your abdominal wall and into the groin area.
  • Umbilical hernias are in the belly button area. These can be common in children, women who’ve had multiple children, or women who are obese. In an umbilical hernia, a piece of the intestines comes through the abdominal cavity near the belly button.
  • Incisional hernias are generally seen in people who have had previous abdominal surgery. The intestines push through the site of the abdominal surgery. More commonly this is seen in patients who are elderly, or who are not active after their abdominal operation.

How are hernias treated?

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people have their hernia surgically repaired. Sometimes we are able to do this surgery laparoscopically – which means we made a few small incisions, instead of one large one. This often results in less pain and a shorter recovery time. Sometimes we repair a hernia because it is causing symptoms, and sometimes we repair one because it has the potential to result in more serious health consequences later. 

Are you interested in hernia repair?

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