About 1 million hernia repairs are performed annually in the United States. Hernias are an incredibly common medical condition, and they can affect men, women, and children.
Hernias develop when internal organs or tissue push through the muscle wall of your abdomen. It can happen when there’s a weak spot in the muscle, whether it’s present from birth or the result of strain and overexertion. You might notice a bulge or pain — but it’s not uncommon for hernias to show no symptoms at all.
Brian Prebil, DO, and Eric Thomas, MD, FACS at the Center for Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery are here to answer your questions when it comes to hernias. We’re proud to offer the latest in minimally invasive hernia repair for all the most common types of hernias.
There are many different kinds of hernias, depending on the area of the body that’s affected. Read on to learn more about the three most common hernias.
Abdominal hernias develop in the area above your groin and below your ribcage. There are a few different types of abdominal hernias, including hiatal, epigastric, and umbilical.
A hiatal hernia forms when the upper portion of your stomach pushes through your diaphragm and into your ribcage. It’s one of the most common types of hernia, affecting up to 60% of people by the time they reach 60.
Symptoms of hiatal hernia include acid reflux, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing.
Epigastric hernias are found above your belly button and below your ribcage. You may notice a small lump or soreness in the affected area, but not all epigastric hernias cause symptoms.
Epigastric hernias may trigger pain when you cough, sneeze, or strain.
Umbilical hernias develop in or near your belly button. A weak spot around your belly button may be susceptible to hernia and organs or tissue begin pushing through, creating a visible bulge. It may be worse when you cough or use the toilet.
Inguinal hernias are possibly the most common type of hernia, with an estimated 27% of men developing one at some point in their lifetimes. These hernias develop when tissue or organs push through the lower abdominal wall into the groin. A lump may be visible in the groin or scrotum.
Femoral hernias are less common, making up 2-4% of all groin hernias. Both men and women can develop inguinal and femoral hernias, but femoral hernias are much more common in women.
A femoral hernia may create a small lump in the groin or inner thigh. Because they’re often located close to the femoral artery and vein, femoral hernias often require surgery to reduce the risk of complications.
Incisional hernias can develop after a surgical procedure. If you’ve had abdominal surgery, it’s possible that the incision didn’t heal correctly and left a weak spot in your abdominal wall. Organs or tissue can protrude through the incision, creating a noticeable bulge around the incision scar.
Surgery is the only way to repair a hernia. If you suspect that you have a hernia or your doctor identified one in your last physical, make an appointment with our surgical team. Consistent pain or a large hernia may need surgery to prevent life-threatening complications.
We specialize in minimally invasive hernia repair with the da Vinci® robotic surgical system. Small incisions and precise surgical maneuvers with robotic-assisted surgery offer shorter recovery times and enhance hernia repair outcomes.
Find out if you’re a candidate for minimally invasive hernia repair. Call our office in Peoria, Arizona, or send us a message online today.