What is a Hernia?
A hernia is a tear in the lining of your abdominal wall. It is actually a hole that allows tissues inside the abdomen to stick out. This often causes pain and bulging and can be very uncomfortable. This can happen in any part of the abdomen in men and women of all ages. Adult hernias usually are the result of strain on the abdominal wall caused by aging, genetic predisposition, heavy lifting, pregnancy, athletic activities, obesity, previous surgery, constipation, and chronic coughing. There are two types of hernias:
- Ventral hernia is located in the abdomen and may appear at an incision site any time after surgery (incisional hernia).
- Inguinal hernia occurs in the groin area.
What is a Hiatal Hernia?
A hiatal hernia occurs when the muscle tissue around the opening becomes weak and the upper part of your stomach bulges up through the diaphragm into your chest cavity. A large hiatal hernia can allow food and acid to back up into your esophagus, leading to heartburn and difficulty swallowing. If a hiatal hernia is causing Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) symptoms, your surgeon may also repair the hernia during this operation.
Your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes to ease the pain and other symptoms, but surgery is often the only way to truly repair a hernia. During hernia repair surgery, an incision is made near the site of the hernia. The hernia is usually repaired with mesh by stitching, stapling or clipping it to the muscle around the hernia site. The hernia site can also be sewn directly together. Hernia repair can be done using traditional open surgery, minimally invasive (laparoscopic) surgery or robotic surgery.