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Hernia Surgery

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Treating a wide array of hernia conditions

A hernia, or rupture, is a weakness or defect in the wall of the abdomen. A hernia will not heal on its own; hernia surgery is needed to repair the defect in the abdomen wall. If not treated, a hernia can get larger and can also lead to serious health complications.

Hernia surgery can be done quickly and safely to repair various types of hernias, including hiatal hernias, Bochdalek hernias, Morgagni hernias and adominal wall hernias.

Our experienced surgeons handle the more complex, large and recurrent hernias with newer techniques, including robotic surgery, and using the latest tools and materials lead to lower recurrences and fewer complications.

Types of hernia surgery

We offer several different types of hernia surgery. Select a specific ​hernia below to read detailed information about the condition.

  • Hiatal Hernias
  • Bochdalek
  • Morgagni
  • Abdominal wall hernias

Hiatal Hernias

A hiatal hernia occurs when there is a weakness or opening in the diaphragm. The stomach bulges through the weakened diaphragm, sometimes causing reflux, difficulty swallowing and vomiting. Hiatal hernias are the most common type of diaphragmatic hernia.

Bochdalek

Bochdalek hernias are located closer to the back and are rare. They occur when an opening exists, and it allows fat, the stomach or the intestines to enter the chest cavity.

Morgagni

Morgagni hernias are located toward the front of the thoracic cavity and are an anterior defect. The colon or omentum (the fatty folds that hold the intestines and other abdominal organs in place) are most at risk of bulging through the chest cavity. A Morgagni hernia is relatively rare and usually does not cause symptoms.

Abdominal wall hernias

Different types of abdominal wall hernias include:

  • Inguinal hernias
  • Umbilical hernias
  • Complex ventral and incisional hernias
  • Spigelian hernias
  • Flank hernias
  • Recurrent hernias

Risks and possible complications of hernia surgery

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Numbness or pain in the groin or leg
  • Risk the hernia will recur
  • Damage to the testicles or testicular function
  • Anesthesia risks
  • Mesh complications
  • Inability to urinate
  • Bowel or bladder injury
A nurse stands next to a patient lying in a bed awaiting hernia surgery

How to prepare for a hernia surgery

Your physician will talk with you about getting ready for hernia surgery. Follow all the instructions the physician gives you, and be sure to:

  • Tell your physician about any medicines, supplements or herbs you are currently taking, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines; you may be asked to stop taking them.
  • Stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and other NSAIDs seven to 14 days before surgery.
  • Arrange for someone to drive you home after the surgery.
  • Stop smoking; smoking affects blood flow and can slow healing following hernia surgery.
  • Gently wash the surgical area the night before the hernia surgery.
  • Follow any directions you are given for not eating or drinking before surgery.
A woman smiles at her phone in the car while her husband drives her to the hospital for hernia surgery

What to expect during hernia surgery

Arrive at the hospital at your scheduled hernia surgery time; you’ll be asked to change into a gown. An IV will be inserted in your hand or arm to provide fluids and medicine. Shortly before the surgery, an anesthesiologist will talk with you to explain the types of anesthesia used to prevent pain during the hernia surgery. You will have one or more of the following:

  • Monitored sedation to make you relaxed and sleepy
  • Local anesthesia to numb the surgical site
  • Regional anesthesia to numb specific areas of your body
  • General anesthesia to let you sleep during hernia surgery

Hernia surgery repairs the weakness in the abdominal wall. Most hernias are treated using “tension-free” repairs. This is a type of hernia surgery that uses special mesh materials to repair the weak area. The mesh covers the weak area like a patch and is made of strong flexible plastic that stays in the body. Over time, nearby tissues grow into the mesh to strengthen the hernia repair.

After the hernia surgery when the procedure is over, you’ll be taken to the recovery area to rest. Your blood pressure and heart rate will be monitored; you’ll also have a bandage over the surgical site. To help reduce discomfort, you’ll be given pain medicines. You may also be given breathing exercises to keep your lungs clear. Later you’ll be asked to get up and walk; this helps prevent blood clots in the legs. You can go home with your physician says you’re ready following hernia surgery.

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