What is a hernia and why do we sometimes have to have it repaired?

A hernia is a hole or weakness in the abdominal wall. This weakness causes a bulging in the abdominal wall. Sometimes tissue can get caught in this hole which may cut off the blood supply. This would require surgery and in some cases a portion of the bowel may have to be removed.

What are the symptoms of hernias?

Dull ache, pressure or a pulling sensation at the site of the hernia may occur. These symptoms can be made worse by coughing, straining, or lifting. Hernias can occur anywhere in the abdomen even at the site of an old abdominal scar.

How do we diagnose a hernia?

Many hernias can be diagnosed with a simple physical examination and on occasion through ultrasound or CT Scan.

How is a hernia repaired?

Hernia repairs can be performed using a laparoscopic and open surgical techniques. Most hernia repairs now include a form of prosthetic mesh reinforcement which acts like a patch. This is done because it reduces the number of hernia recurrences. After surgery it is necessary to limit heavy lifting and physical exercise for several weeks.

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