When an organ pushes through tissue, it’s referred to as a hernia.
These protrusions are most likely to occur in the abdominal area, although they may also develop in the upper thigh or groin area, or in the stomach or belly button. If you are experiencing discomfort from an inguinal, hiatal, or incisional hernia, you may be referred to a hernia specialist. Umbilical hernias in children and babies less than six months old can also be treated.
How Does a Hernia Specialist Make a Diagnosis?
Incisional and inguinal hernias are typically diagnosed with a physical examination. A hernia specialist may also feel the groin or abdomen while the patient stands or coughs to detect the protrusion. An endoscopy is sometimes performed to diagnose a hiatal hernia. If a barium X-ray is done, the patient ingests a special liquid that allows detailed images of the digestive tract to be produced. With a child who has a suspected umbilical hernia, an ultrasound may be performed to make a diagnosis and determine its exact location.
A hernia specialist may suggest lifestyle changes for hernias that aren’t producing significant or chronic discomfort. This might include avoiding heavy meals. Symptoms may also be reduced with exercises that specifically target muscles and other soft tissues around the area where the hernia is located. It’s important to note that non-surgical treatment efforts won’t correct hernia itself, although related symptoms may become more manageable. In some cases, lifestyle adjustment may eliminate discomfort altogether.
Does a Specialist Recommend Medication?
Medication may be recommended for patients with a hiatal hernia. Other types of hernias usually require surgery. The type of medication that’s usually suggested or prescribed is used to manage stomach acid. Mild symptoms are sometimes controllable with over-the-counter antacids. Other patients may benefit from H-2 receptor blockers or proton pump inhibitors.
What Type of Surgery May Be Performed?
If symptoms can’t be effectively reduced with lifestyle changes or medication, a hernia doctor usually recommends surgery. Surgery is typically the first treatment option if a hernia is large or causing severe pain. In some instances, an effort may be made to massage the bulge to ease some of the protruding tissue back to its normal location before performing surgery. With hernias affecting the abdominal area, the hole in the abdominal wall is closed are the protruding organ is correctly positioned. The hole is then closed with surgical mesh patch.
Regardless of what type of hernia is involved, surgery can be either a traditional open procedure or a less-invasive laparoscopic operation. A large incision is made to access the affected area and the hernia sac is pushed back in, if possible, or it’s tied off and surgically removed. The edges of the healthy muscle tissue may then be sewn together (herniorrhaphy) if hernias are smaller or if they’ve been present since birth. Open surgery may be performed when:
A hernia is difficult to reach with less-invasive techniques
There is more than one hernia to repair in the same area
The protrusion is extensive or other nearby tissues have been damaged
Laparoscopic surgery is often the preferred method for hernias that are smaller, conveniently located, or easier to repair. It’s done with smaller incisions instead of one large one. A hollow device with a light and lens attached, called a laparoscope, is used to view the affected area where the hernia sac is located. Specially sized instruments are then used to manipulate tissue and correct the damage from the hernia. While there are many benefits associated with laparoscopic surgery, it’s not always the best option. For instance, open surgery is more likely to be recommended if part of the intestines has slipped into the scrotum.
Why Is It Important to See a Specialist?
If any type of hernia goes undiagnosed and treated, the protrusion may become larger and discomfort could gradually increase. Nausea, constipation, and severe pain may be experienced if the bowel becomes obstructed. There’s also the risk of placing excessive pressure on nearby tissues, which could contribute to inflammation and pain. In a worst-case scenario, a strangulated hernia may develop. This occurs if the blood flow to the intestines is significantly reduced. Seeing a specialist could also allow you to resume your normal activities without distracting pain.
Following successful treatment, a hernia specialist can discuss ways to reduce the risk of experiencing the same problem again. For example, you might be advised to lose weight, take steps to prevent chronic constipation, be cautious when lifting anything heavy or awkward, or avoid strenuous abdominal exercises. Stopping smoking may also be helpful, since smoking-related coughing fits could weaken abdominal muscles.
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