A hernia is a relatively common condition that can affect the young, the elderly, men, and women. Hernias are estimated to effect approximately five percent of the population at any given time in their lives. A hernia is a hole in the muscular wall of the abdomen. This often occurs in areas of previous surgical scars, the umbilicus, or in the groin area.
How Hernias Develop
The reasons why we develop hernias are often genetic and at times related to physical activity. Most people that have developed hernias describe a bulge. Some complain of pain and many experience no symptoms. The bulge that is often associated with a hernia is actually some contents from inside the abdomen protruding through the hernia defect.
In some circumstances, the intestine or omentum (normal internal fat) can become trapped in the hernia defect.
In a small percentage of people that develop an incarcerated hernia, the intestine or omentum can lose circulation due to excessive pressure created by a tight fit within the hernia. Strangulation is an emergency because of the potential for loss of viability of the intestine or other hernia contents.
The natural history of the evolution of an individual hernia is unpredictable. They never resolve on their own or get smaller. Some individuals live with their hernia for decades without any problems. Many people describe a long history of a painless hernia and some experience symptoms and emergencies even in cases of a newly diagnosed hernia.
Why We Fix Hernias
- pain or discomfort
- large hernias which may be at a higher risk of complications
- incarceration (the contents of the hernia become trapped inside the wall of the hernia)
- strangulation (the contents of the hernia lose their blood supply due to prolonged incarceration)
Surgery is the only means of hernia repair.
Most hernia surgery can be performed on an outpatient basis, whether an open or laparoscopic procedure is used.
Hernia repair surgery usually involves implantation of a special mesh that functions as a secure patch over the opening in the abdominal wall.
Dr. Yunis has over 25 years of experience in the entire range of conventional and minimally invasive surgical techniques available for hernia repair.
Inguinal Hernia – This is the most common type of hernia and occurs in the groin. It often presents after sudden heavy lifting or coughing or straining. One may notice a burning sensation or pressure in the groin associated with a bulge.
Femoral Hernia – This bulge occurs low in the groin and is more common in females.
Umbilical Hernia – This is a defect that occurs through the belly button or umbilicus.
Ventral Incisional Hernia – This presents as a bulge with or without discomfort in an area of a scar from a previous abdominal operation.
Epigastric Hernia – This usually presents as a small painful bulge in the midline between the umbilicus and the chest.
All of these hernias can cause discomfort or pain. They often get larger over time and all may incarcerate or strangulate.