Hernia Repair

General Information: A hernia is a “defect”, or a hole, in an abnormal location.
As below, there are several locations and types of hernias, all requiring different
treatments. The bulge associated with some types of hernias is not the hernia
itself but actually the “hernia contents”, in other words the tissue that is pushing
out through the hole.

Inguinal / Femoral Hernias
Indications: Except in rare circumstances, all groin hernias need to be repaired.
This is not because of pain or a bulge, but because of the risk that the hernia
contents will become caught and strangulate. This is referred to as incarceration
and strangulation, respectively, and frequently requires an emergency operation
with the possible removal of dead tissue.

Preoperative Evaluation: A history and physical examination confirm the presence
of a hernia.

Procedure: The contents of the hernia are returned to the abdomen and the
hernia defect (ie the hole) is sewn closed, usually using a piece of synthetic
mesh to reinforce the repair.

Length of Stay: Outpatient.

Recovery: 1 – 2 weeks except no lifting over 5-10 pounds for six weeks.

Incisional and Ventral Hernias
Indications: These are hernias that develop through prior incision sites or on
the abdominal wall (including the “belly button”). They are repaired if they
cause pain or become excessively large.

Preoperative Evaluation: A history and physical examination confirm the
presence of a hernia.

Procedure: The contents are returned to the abdomen and the hole is sewn
closed. If the adjacent tissue is weak or the hole is too large, synthetic mesh
is sewn in place to reinforce the repair.

Length of Stay: Outpatient except in the case of large hernias which might
require a 1-4 day hospitalization.

Recovery: 1 – 2 weeks except no lifting over 5-10 pounds for six weeks.