A hernia is when a tissue or internal organ pushes through a weak spot in the surrounding muscle wall or connective tissue. Most hernias are abdominal, meaning any activity or medical condition that causes an increase in pressure on the abdominal wall can cause a hernia. This includes lifting heavy items, diarrhea or constipation, persistent cough or sneezing, straining on the toilet, physical exertion, enlarged prostate, etc. Additionally, smoking, obesity, and poor nutrition can also weaken muscles and make hernias more likely.
Symptoms will include a visible bulge in the affected area, a burning or sharp pain in the area, pain while lifting, constipation, and vomiting, but others may become asymptomatic.
What Are the Different Types of Hernias?
The most common types of hernias include:
When abdominal contents push through the femoral canal, a path carries large blood vessels from the abdominal cavity into the upper thigh.
It occurs when part of the intestine pushes through a weak abdominal wall following surgery.
These occur when part of the abdominal contents, usually part of the bowel or intestine, push through the groin area.
Hiatal (Hiatus) Hernia
This condition occurs when part of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm and into the chest cavity.
Fatty tissues or part of the small intestines protrudes through the abdominal wall near the navel. They are standard in infants and children.
Less common types of hernias include epigastric hernia, parastomal hernia, and spigelian hernia.
What Type of Treatment Is Recommended for Hernias?
If the hernia is small and causes no symptoms, the
general surgeon may recommend watchful waiting to see if the hernia can go back into place. However, hernias have a higher risk of getting incarcerated again, not to mention, they can cause problems if they block the bowels. This makes surgery (open or with the help of a laparoscope) the only way to repair them.
What Happens During Hernia Repair Surgery?
The doctor/surgeon makes minor cuts in the affected area and places the protruding tissue or body part back where it belongs. The weakened muscle wall is then reinforced by sewing the muscles together.
What is Absorbing Mesh for Hernia Repair?
Depending on the risk level, your general surgeon may perform a mesh-free repair, or they may use fully resorbable or absorbing mesh. Dr. Gay utilizes a fully resorbable mesh that offers strong healing and tissue repair. It features a biologically derived scaffold (4HB which is found in the brain, heart, liver, kidneys, and muscle) that integrates into the muscle tissue on one side along with a hydrogel barrier on the visceral side that prevents adhesion to organs. This newer type of mesh combines the advantages of permanent synthetic meshes and biologic grafts, without the disadvantages, to repair, remodel and restore tissue. In preclinical studies, this absorbing mesh resulted in "
three times the required strength for hernia repair" in about one year.
What to Expect During Hernia Repair Recovery?
You'll likely experience pain and feel a little run down for a few days after the surgery. The doctor will tell you how to take care of the incision, what diet to follow, and when to call them. Complete recovery may take three to six weeks depending on your overall health, the type of hernia repair surgery you have, the type of hernia you had, etc.
Call to Schedule an Appointment with a Boise Surgeon Specializing in Hernia Repair
If you have symptoms of a hernia, and are interested in fully resorbable or absorbing mesh, consider scheduling a consultation with an experienced general surgeon.
Dr. Daniel Gay has successfully performed hundreds of hernia repair surgeries, focusing on
minimally invasive robotic-assisted and laparoscopic surgery. He offers individualized attention to all his patients while emphasizing health education.
Submit a contact form or call
(208) 321-4790 today to make an appointment!