If you are suffering from a hernia, you are not alone. About 5 million
people in the United States develop hernias every year, and approximately
600,000 hernia repair operations are performed annually. Hernias can be
uncomfortable and bothersome, and if left untreated, can become dangerous
or decrease your quality of life.
Hernias, which affect men and women of all ages, occur when a section of
intestines protrude through a weakness in the abdominal muscles, leaving
a soft bulge underneath the skin. This can occur because of a natural
weakness in the abdominal wall or from excess strain caused by heavy lifting,
substantial weight gain, persistent coughing, or difficulty with bowel
movements or urination.
“If you notice a sudden pain in the groin or a sensation as if something
has torn, you may have a hernia,” said
Kenneth Kushner, MD, board-certified general surgeon at
Mission Hospital. “You may feel a dull ache, heaviness, pressure, tingling or a burning
sensation in your abdomen or groin. It may get worse when you stand for
long periods, and you may see a bulge in the groin area that you can push
inward or that gets smaller or disappears when you lie down.”
A hernia usually isn’t dangerous by itself. However, it won’t
get better or go away on its own, and over time the tear is likely to
get bigger and more painful. There is also a small chance that the protruding
tissue can get stuck outside the abdominal muscle wall and become infected,
which can create a life-threatening emergency. For these reasons, your
doctor may recommend surgery.
While surgery is the only way to repair a hernia, the good news is surgical
techniques have come a long way. At Mission Hospital, several skilled
surgeons have training and extensive experience repairing hernias utilizing
the most advanced, minimally invasive surgical techniques.
“Minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic procedures have many
benefits, including a quicker recovery time, less visible scarring and
reduced post-operative pain,” said
John Shaver, MD, board-certified general surgeon at Mission Hospital. “Many patients
are able to return to work within a few days. In addition, if a patient
has hernias on both the right and left sides of the groin, we are able
to repair both sides during one procedure.”
Your physician can help you determine which surgical hernia repair treatment
is right for you.
For more information about the robotic surgical technology at Mission