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Hernia Repair

There are several types of hernias that can occur in the abdominal region. The three main types are hiatal (at the end of the esophagus), abdominal wall (ventral) and inguinal (groin).

Hernias occur when surrounding muscles have weakened, resulting in a bulge (balloon-like sac) or tear. Sometimes, patients can live with the minor discomfort from a hernia, but in some cases, they require surgical repair due to the location. They can also become a true medical emergency if they become infected. Since hernias do not go away, surgery eventually is performed in most cases.

The good news is that WakeMed’s board-certified general surgeons have performed thousands of minimally invasive hernia repairs at our facilities, giving you the reassurance that you have the top experts performing your surgery.

Common Symptoms of the Different Types of Hernias

Inguinal or Ventral Hernia

  • A bulge under the skin and pain (sharp at first and then dull later in the day) when lifting, coughing, straining when having a bowel movement or other stress-related activities.
  • Severe, constant pain, redness, and tenderness are a signal that the hernia have become trapped or strangulated. In these cases, emergency surgery may have to be performed. Contact the surgeon immediately.

Hiatal Hernia

  • Burning, pain in the esophagus or lower neck (hiatal hernia)
  • Vomiting and difficulty swallowing
  • Coughing and sometimes wheezing

Inguinal (Groin) Hernia

The abdominal wall has points of weakness. This is where most hernias form. Some people are born with them, while others develop hernias due to straining on the abdominal wall from heavy lifting, coughing or bowel movements, aging, injury or a previous surgery. These stresses can cause the abdominal wall to weaken or separate.

Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia Repair

Your surgeon will make three or four small incisions and insert a tiny camera through one incision to allow a magnified view of the hernia on a screen. This gives the surgeon a clear view of the entire surgical field. The other incision sites give the surgeon access to work inside the body and place surgical mesh over the hernia. The mesh is stapled, giving support the hernia site. The surgery is performed typically under general anesthesia.

Abdominal Wall (Ventral) Hernia

This type of hernia occurs at the site of a previous surgery in the abdomen, including the belly button. Muscles around the incision weaken, causing the inner lining of the abdomen to push through this area to form a balloon-like sac. This sac can cause a portion of the intestines or other abdominal contents to become stuck in the sac. When that happens, surgery is required to repair the hernia.

Laparoscopic Abdominal Wall Hernia Repair

The camera is inserted into the abdomen via a small port (incision). This gives the surgeon an ideal view of the hernia and surrounding region. By looking at the images on the screen, the surgeon will insert instruments through other small incision sites to remove scar tissue and place surgical mesh over the hernia to repair it and add support to the abdominal tissue. The mesh is held in place with special surgical tacks and sutures.

Learn about Hiatal Hernia (GERD - Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)

Learn What to Expect from Hernia Repair

WakeMed has board-certified general surgeons on staff who perform minimally invasive, corrective procedures. Find the WakeMed general surgeon by searching or calling WakeMed Doctor Choice at 919-350-8900.