A hernia is a common but frequently misunderstood condition. You may have a hernia if you have swelling and a bulge that is able to be “pushed back” into your abdomen. If it continues to grow, you will need to have hernia surgery in order to repair it.
We’ll look at what causes a hernia, the different types of hernia, and how our innovative robotic surgery helps those who need hernia repair.
What Is a Hernia?
Normally, your organs are held in place by your muscles. Sometimes however, these muscles break down or one of these organs protrudes through the wall of muscle. That’s called a hernia. While they can appear anywhere on your body, they are more common in the area between your chest and hips.
When the organs protrude, they create a bulge or a lump. Sometimes, this lump can be pushed back into the abdomen. In other cases, it may disappear when you lie down. The lump can even reappear when you laugh, cough or participate in physical activities.
What Are the Signs of a Hernia?
The protruding bulge is the most common sign. It indicates that an organ or intestine is poking through the muscle wall. This swelling can be painful and grow. Some people may also experience a dull ache when lifting.
When Do You Need Surgery for a Hernia?
In some cases, if the hernia is small, doesn’t grow and doesn’t cause any pain or problems, then surgery may not be needed immediately. However, it’s important to realize that most of the time, hernias do get larger. While it may not be causing trouble now, it is very likely that it could lead to more serious complications later if it is not repaired.
One of those complications is strangulation. This occurs when the bulging tissue is squeezed by the muscle wall. As a result, the blood supply is cut off and the tissue begins to die.
- Intensifying pain
- A bulge that turns red or purple
Because of the potentially serious complications, we generally recommend that those with a hernia undergo a simple procedure to ensure that it does not increase in size or grow worse.
What Are the Different Types of Hernia?
Hernias are named after the different places in the body where they’re commonly found. Some of these include:
An inguinal hernia
In men, this is located in the groin area. In women, this is in the area affecting the ligament that supports the uterus. Men are more likely to have an inguinal hernia than women.
A femoral hernia
Located in your inner thigh, this hernia is made of fatty tissue or part of the intestine.
In this case, the hernia protrudes from the belly button.
In a hiatal hernia, the stomach pushes through the chest cavity. This means there is a hole or opening in the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a muscle that separates the abdomen from your chest.
The most common hernias are inguinal or femoral.
Surgical Techniques for Hernia Repair
During surgery, the tissue that is “leaking” out of place is set back into its proper position. Then, the muscle is stitched back together. If the muscle is weak, a mesh may also be added for support.
At Conway Medical Center, we perform hernia surgeries laparoscopically with the aid of the daVinci Surgical Robot.
This incredible piece of medical technology connects the surgeon’s hand movements to small medical instruments. As a result, he or she has an unobstructed view of the surgical area. All surgery is done through a sophisticated computer interface.
The result? The latest advancements in minimally invasive surgery. This means patients can have surgery with only a few small incisions as opposed to a longer “open” incision. The daVinci Robot is perfect for hernia repair. It’s also used for:
- Removing the gall bladder
- Conducting weight loss surgery
- Removing all or part of a kidney
- Reconstructing a kidney
- Removing all or part of the prostate.
Conway Medical Center: A Partner in Your Care
Our medical team is dedicated to your health. We are pleased to be able to offer elective surgeries, and we want you to know that we are taking every precaution to ensure your safety and well-being.
It’s important that you don’t delay in scheduling an appointment for your surgery, as a delay can cause more serious complications later.
We understand that, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be some concern over scheduling elective surgery. We want you to know that we have always placed your safety as the center of all that we do, and we would not offer these surgeries unless we felt we could offer them safely. We welcome any questions and are happy to address any concerns you may have.
If you think you may have a hernia or do you need more information, contact us today so we can guide you.