There are many different types of hernia. The term “hernia” generally describes any instance where an internal organ or internal tissue slips out of its normal position and pushes through the surrounding muscles, structures or tissue that are supposed to hold it in place. Hernias are typically named for the part of the body in which they occur. For example, hiatal hernia occurs in the hiatus, an area in the diaphragm where the esophagus is located.
Common types of hernia that are typically treated with hernia repair surgery, include;
Inguinal Hernia (Abdominal Hernia or Groin Hernia)
Hiatal Hernia (Diaphragm Hernia or Upper Stomach Hernia)
Ventral Hernia (Abdominal Hernia, sometimes called an Incisional Hernia)
Umbilical Hernia (Belly Button Hernia)
Femoral Hernia (Outer Groin Hernia)
If obvious signs and symptoms of a hernia are present, such as an abdominal bulge that can occur with an inguinal hernia, your primary healthcare provider may be able to make an initial diagnosis. The doctor may ask you to stand or cough while he/she feels the herniated area. In most cases, a primary care provider will refer you to a general surgeon for diagnostic testing and specialized surgical treatment.
At miVIP Surgery Centers, our general surgeons provide minimally invasive robotic-assisted hernia repair using the daVinci® Surgery System and other surgical innovations. The benefits of this advanced technology include:
- Smaller incisions and less scarring
- Less blood loss and reduced risk of complications
- Minimal pain and discomfort
- Faster recovery and improved outcomes
Signs and Symptoms of a Hernia
A hernia does not always cause symptoms. However, depending on its locations, signs of a hernia are usually fairly obvious.
Lower abdominal hernia symptoms (more common in men) may include:
- Groin Pain
- A bulge or protrusion in the abdominal area
- Increased abdominal pain or pressure
- Pain in abdomen when coughing, straining or lifting
- Swelling around the testicle
Upper abdominal hernia symptoms (more common in people over 50) may include:
- Chronic burping
- Acid Reflux
- Difficulty swallowing
- Chest pain
- Dypnea (shortness of breath)
Because the symptoms of an upper abdominal hernia, or hiatal hernia, often cause symptoms of acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), the underlying hernia can sometime go undiagnosed. However, with proper diagnosis and treatment of a hiatal hernia, the acid reflux symptoms often resolve.
Risk Factors and Causes of Hernia
In most cases, a hernia is caused by muscle weakness or excessive straining, or a combination of the two. A hernia can develop suddenly or over a period of time.
Common risk factors or causes of hernia include, but are not limited to:
- Congenital defects, such as improper closure of the abdominal wall during development
- Chronic coughing, sneezing or straining
- Injury or damage from surgery
- Pregnancy, which exerts pressure on the abdomen
- Constipation, which leads to excessive straining
- Weight lifting / body building with heavy weights
- Rapid weight gain
Minimally Invasive Hernia Treatment / Hernia Repair
Since a hernia will not get better on its own and can get worse over time, leading to health complications, hernia repair is usually recommended. Advances in surgical robotics allow for robotic-assisted hernia repair, as provided by board-certified general surgeon at miVIP Surgery Center.
Mesh Repair vs. Mesh-Free Repair
Recent advances in medicine have led to the use of surgical mesh to support a hernia repair or defect. This method of repairing a hernia has become the gold standard, though a small proportion of patients do not wish to have a mesh used in their hernia repair. For the reason, when you consult with a general surgeon at miVIP for hernia repair, it is important to discuss all the treatment options available and which approach is recommended for your individual needs.
Our world-class surgeons have expertise in robotics and other innovative treatments and technologies. Call miVIP today at (844) 237-5067 to discover the benefits of minimally invasive hernia repair.
Get to know some of our hernia repair experts by visiting the miVIP Physician Directory.
Read additional information and articles in miVIP’s medical library under Conditions & Diseases.
*Individuals results may vary.