How Serious is the Battle of a Bulging Hernia?

How Serious is the Battle of a Bulging Hernia?

This DocTalk was originally published in January 2023. It was reviewed by the clinic in June 2024.

In this DocTalk, Wayne Lau, MD with Valley’s General & Specialty Surgery Clinic, explains what hernias are, the symptoms, and treatment options.

An abbreviated summary of the conversation can be found below the video.

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.

Learn more about Dr. Lau

Learn more about our General Surgery Clinic

Understanding Our DocTalk Videos
The information shared in the video above represents the opinions of the individual healthcare provider(s) featured. Our DocTalk presenters will sometimes give a general overview including risks, symptoms, and treatments for the medical conditions they are addressing. Therefore, they may not cover specific details that would be available in other resources or in an appointment with a provider about your own healthcare conditions. Please also note that the written summary may not capture every detail contained in the video, and additional information might only be in the video format. Our goal is to inform, educate, and inspire healthier living. If you have any questions about the video content, please contact us HERE.

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