Over one million people undergo hernia surgery every year in the United States. If you have a hernia, it’s likely that you’ll need surgery, too.
At OakBend Medical Group, our experienced surgeons Christopher Reilly, MD, FACS, Steven M. Thomas, MD, FACS, and Genna Lubrano, MD, specialize in laparoscopic surgery to repair a hernia and relieve your symptoms.
We offer comprehensive hernia evaluations to identify what type of hernia you have and determine if you’re a candidate for surgery.
A hernia occurs when tissue or an organ pushes through a weak spot in a muscle. Most hernias involve the abdominal muscle. Weakness in this muscle can allow your intestines to bulge through the tissue.
There are also other types of hernias that develop in other areas of your body, such as in:
- Groin (inguinal hernia)
- Belly button (umbilical hernia)
- Diaphragm (hiatal hernia)
- Scar tissue (incisional hernia)
You may be at risk for a hernia if you’re obese, pregnant, or frequently lift heavy objects. If you have chronic constipation that causes you to strain during bowel movements, you might also experience weakness in your muscles that allow a hernia to occur.
Warning signs of a hernia
The most noticeable symptom of a hernia is a lump or bulge in your abdomen or groin. The bulge may be most apparent when you’re standing up and being active. The protrusion may go away when you’re lying down.
Any type of hernia can be uncomfortable or painful. If you have a hiatal hernia, you might also experience chest pain, acid reflux, and difficulties when swallowing.
If you have sudden or severe pain in the area of the hernia, don’t delay a medical evaluation. This can be a warning sign of a strangulated hernia, which occurs when the blood supply to hernia tissue is cut off and can be a life-threatening situation.
Because a hernia won’t go away on its own, you should schedule a surgical consultation with our providers as soon as you experience hernia symptoms. While you might not need surgery right away, we will continue to monitor your condition and your symptoms.
What to expect during hernia repair surgery
During laparoscopic hernia repair surgery, our skilled surgeons make a small incision over the areas of the hernia bulge. They inflate your abdomen with air to get a better visual of your organs, so the surgeons can reposition those that protrude through your muscle.
To repair the weak spot in your muscle, our providers pass specialized surgical tools through a thin, lighted scope and attach a piece of surgical mesh to the tissue. The mesh reinforces your muscle tissue to prevent intestines or other organs from pushing through again.
Once the repair is complete, our surgeons close the incision. After a brief period of recovery from anesthesia, you can expect to go home to rest.
It can take up to two weeks after laparoscopic hernia surgery to return to your usual activities. You should continue to avoid strenuous exercise for several more weeks to prevent strain on the surgical site.
If you need a diagnostic evaluation for a painful hernia, call OakBend Medical Group or book an appointment online today.