Types of Hernias We Treat
A hernia occurs when part of your body breaks through a weak area of muscle or tissue. Some hernias have few or no symptoms. Other hernias are very painful.
Our surgeons have experience with all types of hernias, from simple to complex. We also redo past hernia surgeries with revisional surgery after a hernia recurrence.
What Causes Hernias?
The cause of a hernia is weak muscles or tissues in your body coupled with strain. Being overweight or obese is a common risk factor for a hernia. Other things that put you at higher risk of a hernia include:
- Age and family history
- Chronic conditions, including cough or COPD
- Damage from past surgeries or past injuries
- Frequent or long-lasting constipation
- Smoking or history of smoking
- Strenuous exercise or heavy lifting
A common hernia symptom that people notice is a lump or a bulge. The bump might get smaller or go away when you are in certain positions, such as lying down. You might be able to push on it to make the bulge disappear. The lump may also get bigger or more painful when you put pressure on it by standing, coughing or exercising.
Other symptoms of a hernia include:
- Pain or discomfort
- Tenderness at the hernia site
A hiatal hernia occurs at the level of your diaphragm involving your esophagus and stomach. Your stomach moves above the diaphragm into the chest. Symptoms of a hiatal hernia are different from other hernias and can include:
- Acid reflux
- Chest pain
- Trouble swallowing
These symptoms are very similar to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Our surgeons can order tests to diagnose GERD or a hiatal hernia (or both) and recommend the right treatment. Find out more about our hiatal hernia treatment with GERD surgery.
We provide comprehensive hernia treatment for these conditions. A hernia is a hole or defect in the muscle wall, and therefore will not heal on its own, so the only way to treat a hernia is with surgery. The types of hernia surgery we perform include the following.
Diastasis of the Rectus Abdominis (DRA)
This type of condition occurs when the abdominal muscles separate. It is most common after rapid weight gain, such as during pregnancy. We are one of the only hospitals in the country to repair DRA with innovative minimally invasive robotic surgery.
Inguinal hernia (or groin hernia) occurs when part of your intestine pushes through a weak spot in the groin. It is more common in men than women, affecting about one in four men during their lives. A femoral hernia can also occur at the top of the inner thigh around the groin. Femoral hernias are much less common than inguinal hernias.
A stoma is a surgical opening in the abdomen connected to your digestive system or urinary system. A stoma is attached to an ostomy bag that collects waste on the outside of your body. Parastomal hernias occur around the stoma, causing a bulge and sometimes pain or leakage. These hernias are usually not dangerous but may be uncomfortable.
Most sports hernias occur in the lower abdomen or groin area. They result from tendons that tear or stretch, creating a weak spot in the soft tissues. The injury is most common in the tendons that attach the pubic bone to the thigh muscles or oblique muscles.
Traumatic hernias are rare. They can happen after a forceful impact or hard hit to the abdomen, or after a fall. Our skilled surgeons have experience in both emergency surgery and elective hernia surgery to make repairs.
An umbilical hernia, or stomach hernia, is a bulge around the belly button. Everyone has a small opening in the abdomen where the umbilical cord passes through, but typically it closes after birth. Umbilical hernias are common in infants but are usually harmless. They can also occur in adults and may require surgical repair.
A ventral hernia happens when abdominal tissue or part of the intestine pushes through the center of your abdominal wall. They are especially common in areas where there is a weak spot because of an incision from a prior surgery (incisional hernia).