How Serious is the Battle of a Bulging Hernia?

How Serious is the Battle of a Bulging Hernia?

Content derived from DocTalk with Wayne Lau, MD – General Surgery. See video below.

0:13 | What is a hernia?
A hernia is a flaw or weakness in the wall of the abdomen or the groin. Those are the most common places for a hernia to occur.

0:23 | What are the most common types of hernias?
The most common types of hernias are:

  • Umbilical—also known as belly button hernias
  • Inguinal—which can occur near the groin
  • Ventral—which can occur in the upper abdomen
  • Incisional—which can occur after an operation

0:38 | What are the symptoms of a hernia?
The symptoms of hernias can vary. Some patients may have very few symptoms, like a bulge in the abdomen or in the groin, and other patients may have pain in those areas. Yet other patients may also present in a more complicated fashion.

0:56 | Why should you seek treatment for a hernia?
A hernia can become serious if it begins to affect other organs, like the intestine. If a loop of intestine becomes trapped in the hernia, the blood supply to that loop of intestine can become compromised, leading to serious complications.

1:12 | If you think you have a hernia, what should you do next?
If you think you have a hernia, you should schedule an appointment with your primary care provider. They will examine you to confirm the hernia, then refer to you a specialist like myself, or one of my partners. They may also obtain imaging such as an ultrasound or CAT scan.

1:29 | How are hernias treated?
Since hernias are an anatomic defect, the only real treatment is surgery. Think of it as patching a hole in a pair of pants.

1:40 | What surgery options does Valley offer for hernias?
There are a number of ways to repair hernias, including:

  • Open surgery: This is the traditional method, and it involves making an incision over the hernia and placing a patch.
  • Laparoscopic surgery: In recent years, more surgery has turned toward laparoscopic because it is minimally invasive. In this method, the stomach is filled with carbon dioxide gas, and a camera is placed into the stomach to allow surgeons to repair the hernia from the inside out.
  • Robotic surgery: This is the latest advancement for hernia repair. This method involves a surgical robot that helps surgeons repair hernias in a more sophisticated fashion.

2:20 | Where have you found the greatest benefit with robotic surgery for patients?
Here at Valley, we have access to robotic technology for hernia surgery. My partners and I have been trained in robotic surgery and have been offering this to our patients for a number of years. The benefits of robotic surgery include: an outpatient experience which means there is no hospital stay, less pain after surgery, and smaller incisions.

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