Hernia Center at St. Vincent’s Medical Center
TRUSTING ST. VINCENT’S
At St. Vincent’s, our goal is to guide you through hernia repair with care so that you may have a successful outcome. Hernias do not go away on their own, they only get worse, and only surgery can repair a hernia. Don’t allow it to keep you from your activities and make life uncomfortable.
Our team will get to understand you and your issue and will determine the best surgical procedure for you. We will guide you through surgery and recovery, helping to get back to your regular activities.
Meet Our Team:
- Whether it is the newest approach or robotic surgery, our surgical team has excelled at combining experience and a warm demeanor with the latest technologies as they emerge.
- Our skilled surgical and recovery team are dedicated to helping patients prepare, undergo and recover from surgery. You can rest assured that your surgical team is dedicated to your care and needs.
Schedule a consultation: Please contact us at 1-833-437-6427 (HERNIAS) for hernia surgery inquiries, communication with our team or to schedule an office appointment to evaluate your need for hernia surgery.
- What Is a Hernia?
- A hernia occurs when an organ or fatty tissue squeezes through a weak spot in a surrounding muscle or connective tissue called fascia.
- What Are the Different Types of Hernias?
The most common types of hernias include:
- XInguinal hernia: A type of hernia that develops in the groin
- Ventral hernia: A type of hernia in the front of the abdominal wall. An umbilical hernia is one common type.
- Incisional hernia: A type of hernia that develops at the site of an incision from a previous surgery. It may develop shortly after the surgery or years later.
- Hiatal (or hiatus) hernia: A type of hernia that develops where the esophagus comes through the diaphragm.
What Are St. Vincent’s Treatments for a Hernia?
- Conventional hernia surgery is performed under either local or general anesthesia. Dr. Fotovat repositions the herniated tissue and, if strangulation has occurred, removes the oxygen-starved part of the organ. The damaged muscle wall will frequently be repaired with synthetic mesh or tissue.
- Increasingly, herniorrhaphy is being performed at St. Vincent’s Medical Center using a laparoscope, a thin, telescope-like instrument that requires smaller incisions and involves a shorter recovery period and less post-operative pain. Hernia repairs are usually performed as an outpatient procedure. There are usually no dietary restrictions, and work and regular activity may usually be resumed in one or two weeks. Complete recovery usually takes three to four weeks, with no heavy lifting for two to three months.
What can be done to prevent a Hernia?
- Hernias are caused by a combination of muscle weakness and strain. Depending on its cause, a hernia can develop quickly or over a long period of time.
Common causes of muscle weakness include:
- Failure of the abdominal wall to close properly in the womb, which is a congenital defect
- Chronic coughing
- Damage from injury or surgery
Factors that can strain your body and may cause a hernia, especially if your muscles are weak include:
- Being pregnant, which puts pressure on your abdomen
- Being constipated, which causes you to strain when having a bowel movement
- Lifting heavy weight
- Fluid in the abdomen, or ascites
- Suddenly gaining weight
- Persistent coughing or sneezing
How Is a Hernia Diagnosed?
- A physical exam by a health care provider is often enough to diagnose a hernia. Sometimes hernia swelling is visible when you stand upright; usually, the hernia can be felt if you place your hand directly over it and then bear down. Ultrasound may be used to see a femoral hernia, and abdominal X-rays may be ordered to determine if a bowel obstruction is present
I had a Hernia repaired, can it return?
- Hernias may return after surgery, so preventive measures are especially important to help avoid a recurrence.
Preparing For Surgery:
What Should I Expect Before My Surgery?
- Before surgery, make sure to follow any pre-appointment restrictions set by your hernia team such as avoiding nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen for a week before surgery and not eating the day of surgery. Try to get a good night’s sleep, and if your procedure requires a hospital stay, make sure to bring anything you will need during that time.
What Can I Expect After My Surgery?
- Typically, most patients feel okay with a few days after the surgery and resume normal activity within one to two weeks. Strenuous activity and exercise are restricted for a few weeks after surgery
- What are the symptoms of a hernia?
- Not all hernias cause symptoms and require treatment. However, you may experience any of the following symptoms: a noticeable protrusion in the groin area or abdomen, feeling pain while lifting, a dull aching sensation, a vague feeling of fullness.
- What will happen if I don’t treat my Hernia?
- Hernias do not go away on their own and only surgery can repair a hernia. Over time, hernias tend to get bigger as the muscle wall gets weaker and more tissue gets through.
- Will I have a scar following my hernia surgery?
- Following the procedure, your incision will be closed with stiches. With a laparoscopic procedure, the incisions are barely visible within a few months.
- In inguinal hernias, is fertility affected?
- Fertility is usually not affected by an inguinal hernia or hernia surgery. But in males there is a chance that surgery or an incarcerated hernia can cause injury to the vas deferens. It is not yet known how often or to what degree this affects a man’s ability to father a child.