What is a hernia?

Basically a hernia is a hole. A hernia occurs when an internal organ or other body part protrudes through the wall of muscle or tissue that normally contains it. Most hernias occur within the abdominal cavity, between the chest and the hips.

A hernia occurs when the contents inside the abdomen bulge outward. While there are a variety of different types of hernias, the most common ones occur in the abdomen or groin.

Hernias can affect both men and women but are more likely to affect men. The most common sign of a hernia is a bulge on the outer area of the abdomen. You may also feel mild pain or a sensation of pressure in the affected area. Generally, the discomfort will worsen with activities that put strain on the abdomen. Activities such as weightlifting, running or pushing a lawnmower up a hill may cause these sensations.

Because symptoms of a hernia could also be signs of other more serious conditions, it is important to be evaluated by your doctor if you think you may have a hernia.

The good news is that most hernias can be repaired with minimally invasive surgery – which has a low complication rate – and you can usually get back to your normal routine quickly.

At the Hernia Center of Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC), our experienced surgeons have an unsurpassed record of quality care, including:

< 1% of patients returned to the operating room
<1% of patients were readmitted to the hospital
< 1% of patients had a subsequent hernia
All inguinal hernias without complicating factors go back to work after 1 week for light duty (no lifting over 15 pounds) and full duty at 2 weeks after surgery without restriction
Most patients do not need narcotic pain medication after robotic inguinal hernia repair
What does this mean for you? You can get back to living with minimal downtime and fewer complications.

Next Steps
If you think you have a hernia, schedule your appointment by calling 770-282-8956 or requesting an appointment.
The most common forms of hernia are:
• Inguinal hernia: In men, the inguinal canal is a passageway for the spermatic cord and blood vessels leading to the testicles. In women, the inguinal canal contains the round ligament that gives support for the womb. In an inguinal hernia, fatty tissue or a part of the intestine pokes into the groin at the top of the inner thigh. This is the most common type of hernia, and affects men more often than women.
• Femoral hernia: Fatty tissue or part of the intestine protrudes into the groin at the top of the inner thigh. Femoral hernias are much less common than inguinal hernias and mainly affect older women.
• Umbilical hernia: Fatty tissue or part of the intestine pushes through the abdomen near the navel (belly button).
• Hiatal (hiatus) hernia: Part of the stomach pushes up into the chest cavity through an opening in the diaphragm (the horizontal sheet of muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen).
Other types of hernias include:
• Incisional hernia: Tissue protrudes through the site of an abdominal scar from a remote abdominal or pelvic operation.
• Epigastric hernia: Fatty tissue protrudes through the abdominal area between the navel and lower part of the sternum (breastbone).
• Spigelian hernia: The intestine pushes through the abdomen at the side of the abdominal muscle, below the navel.
• Diaphragmatic hernia: Organs in the abdomen move into the chest through an opening in the diaphragm.

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