A hernia is a bulge of tissue protruding through a defect or weakness in the abdominal wall. It can be seen at the umbilicus, groin area, anterior abdominal wall or along an incision from a  previous surgery. It is sometimes painful especially when you strain.

It can be diagnosed with a physical examination and is easily repaired on an elective outpatient basis, usually with the aid of screen or a mesh placed across the defect. This can be done with an open approach using an incision, or with a laparoscopic robotic technique using tiny holes in the abdomen.

If left untreated, the hernia could become trapped or incarcerated which may result in strangulation of the tissue bulging through the defect requiring an emergency operation.

Inguinal Hernias

An inguinal hernia occurs when abdominal cavity contents protrude through a weak area in the groin muscle causing a bulge. Hernias are more common in men than women (27% in men, 3% in women). Pain becomes prominent when coughing, straining, bending, laughing or standing up. Most of the time, your doctor can diagnose a hernia based on your symptoms and a physical exam.

Hernias can be repaired laparoscopically (through small incisions), or open. You and your surgeon can decide which repair is best for you.