When an organ pushes through an opening or weak spot in the tissues holding it in place, it’s called a hernia.
Affecting approximately 5 million Americans each year, hernias can produce dull discomfort or attention-grabbing pain. If you are experiencing pain from a hernia, realize it’s not likely to go away without some type of treatment, usually surgery. If you go to a hernia clinic, you’ll be able to receive a thorough evaluation and treatment specific to your type of hernia.
Here’s what you need to know about hernias and what may happen when you visit a clinic that specializes in this medical condition.
A hernia clinic is prepared to treat all types of hernias. Most hernias are inguinal hernias. They occur when the intestines protrude through a tear or weak spot in part of the abdominal wall, usually in a spot referred to as the inguinal canal. In men, the spermatic cord connects to the scrotum here. Women have a ligament that supports the uterus in this location. Inguinal hernias tend to occur more often in men, possibly because the testicles normally descend in this area. When they do, the canal sometimes doesn’t properly close, which creates a weak spot. Other types of hernias include:
Hiatal hernias: The protrusion occurs through the diaphragm in the chest cavity.
Umbilical hernias: Intestines protrude through the abdominal wall by the bellybutton in children or babies.
Incisional hernias: Intestines pass through a surgical incision in the abdominal wall.
How Is a Diagnosis Made at a Hernia Clinic?
Common types of hernias are usually diagnosed at a clinic with a physical examination. A doctor or specialist may also feel the area where pain is being experienced to determine if a hernia can be detected. An endoscopy may be performed to identify a suspected hiatal hernia. Performed after drinking a special solution, a barium X-ray of the digestive tract may also be done. Umbilical hernias may be diagnosed with a ultrasound, which involves the use of sound waves to view internal structures and tissues.
Non-Surgical Treatment Options
If symptoms are minor and the bulge isn’t severe, a doctor may suggest monitoring the hernia and tracking its size and the severity of related symptoms. Symptoms sometimes become less noticeable with lifestyle changes. Patients may be advised to lose weight and avoid heavy meals. Certain exercises may strengthen abdominal wall muscles and soft tissues enough to ease symptoms.
However, care must be taken to avoid doing exercises that are too strenuous. For this reason, patients may be referred to a physical therapist so that safe exercises can be recommended. In some instances, hernia symptoms may be managed with medication that reduces stomach acid. Avoiding overly acidic foods can also help minimize symptoms that may be aggravated by stomach acid.
When Is Surgery Performed at a Hernia Clinic?
It’s important to note that while lifestyle changes may make symptoms more manageable, such adjustments will not reverse the hernia itself. If symptoms are getting worse or discomfort is severe because the hernia is large, open or laparoscopic surgery is usually recommended. In rare instances when surgery cannot be performed, patients may be advised to wear a truss or belt to keep the hernia from becoming more severe. In children, pressure may be applied in an attempt to reduce the bulge before surgery is performed.
With open hernia repair, a larger incision is made to access the affected area. The protruding tissue is pushed back to its original location. The hole or weak spot that allowed the tissue to push through is then sewn up. Synthetic mesh (hernioplasty) is sometimes used to reinforce the weakened or damaged area after it’s surgically sewn together. It may take several weeks for patients to fully resume activities after open hernia surgery.
Laparoscopic hernia surgery is a minimally invasive procedure performed with a few strategically placed small incisions instead of a single larger one. When performed in the abdominal area, gas is used to inflate the abdomen to make internal organs easier to view. A lighted tube attached to a camera called a laparoscope is used by the surgeon to help manipulate special instruments to repair the damage with synthetic mesh. Recovery from laparoscopic surgery may take less time since incisions are smaller.
Only 20 percent of hernia sufferers have them repaired. However, putting off treatment can increase the risk of experiencing potentially serious complications. By seeking treatment at a hernia clinic, you’ll have access to an assortment of options, many of which involve less invasive techniques. As far as preventing hernias goes, it can help to practice proper lifting techniques, eat a high-fiber diet to reduce constipation issues, get regular exercise that focuses on core muscle groups, maintain a healthy weight, and do proper warm-ups before exercise or activity.
A couple of weeks ago my mother had a bad experience at this center. She overheard the nurses making rude comments about a patient.I felt very uncomfortable going threw my procedure after what I herd.Very unprofessional attitude, please avoid this place I made the mistake of coming here.
I saw Dr. Shad after my aunt recommended me to him for back pain. I had pretty bad back pain for a young adult. Upon the first appointment he felt my injury and immediately identified the area in pain and explained everything to me. My back is doing great now and I am able to go back for tissue work when needed. Never had more confidence in a doctor then I do with Dr. Shad, definitely recommend!
I just had a procedure done here this morning. The center is very clean and orderly. The nurses were so friendly and kind, it was like talking to a friend. The anesthesiologist had great bedside manner and was honestly the nicest one I’ve ever met. Dr. Jenkins is very sweet and made sure I felt comfortable and informed. She is always very bubbly and makes you feel at ease. Really great people at this place! Highly recommend if you are needing a procedure done.
I have had a number of procedures done. The staff are amazing they took such good care of me. Dr. Ding communicates on a real level.Highly recommend this crew if you ever need surgery they are equipped for
My wife had surgery at your Facility. Dr Tony Mork was the surgeon. We were very impressed with your neat little surgery center. We got very personal care.. Thinking back 10 months when she had surgery we still remember well 😊
The morning admittance gal who was friendly , knowledgeable and put my nervousness about surgery at ease helped me fill out the necessary forms for surgery. The next nurse prepped me for surgery and explained what would be happening. Again,very personable, organized, and knowledgeableAnother nurse came over and told me she would be helping the doctor in surgery and again explained what was going on. Friendly The orthopedic surgeon came in and spine to me about the surgery also kind and caring. Then surgery was over and I was again met with a kind nurse to help me adjust to waking up. This may all sound very routine to who ever reads this but surgery is Not, routine and it is damm scary to the patient and their families. To be taken care of by friendly, kind caring and knowledgeable staff is so important. My husband And I are grateful for the entire team here at Crown Valley Surgical. Thank you, Barbara and Jeff tatro