Hernia surgery : Specialists

What is a hernia?

A hernia is a protrusion of an organ through the surrounding muscle or tissue structure. This usually occurs in the abdomen and is due to a weakness in that structure. Another type of hernia involves the spinal vertebrae and can result in sciatica.

There is more than one type of hernia which includes:

  • Femoral: this hernia protrudes into the groin or the top of the inner thigh.
  • Inguinal: this hernia - usually the intestines, protrudes through the lower abdomen.
  • Umbilical: this hernia protrudes through the belly button.
  • Incisional: a hernia which protrudes through a surgical wound or an incision which has not completely healed.
  • Hiatus: a common type of hernia in which part of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm up into the chest.

The most common type of hernia is the inguinal hernia. Inguinal hernias are more likely to occur the older someone gets.

Umbilical hernias occur in young children. Around 1 in 6 children are affected and this condition affects black children more than white.

What is a hernia surgeon?

This is a general surgeon who has chosen to specialise in the area of hernia surgery. He or she will have experience and knowledge in the diagnosis and treatment of hernias.

What does a hernia surgeon do?

He/she will undertake the repair of a hernia. Simple cases involve the ‘pushing back’of the protruding organ into its proper place before repairing the weakened tissue structure.

There are several techniques for doing so which include:

  • Laparoscopic or ‘keyhole surgery’
  • Open tension free mesh repair
  • Oesophageal Reflux Surgery
  • Herniorraphy
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