Hernia Surgery

There have been significant advancements in hernia surgery in the past few years. These have given us the ability to not only fix the hernia but to get the patient back to their life quicker. The new methods of  hernia surgery involve less invasive options such as laparoscopic and robotic surgery along with improved mesh systems. Together, these methods help reduce the recurrence and improve post-operative pain.
The surgeons at Foothill Surgical Associates have undergone advanced training in repairing difficult hernias. We also include nationally recognized protocols called Enhanced Recovery After Surgery to help expedite your post-operative improvement in pain and return to regular activity.

What is a Hernia?

Think of your abdomen as a box. The front is the abdominal wall, the posterior part is your back, the superior part is the diaphragm (breathing muscle), and the inferior part is your pelvis. A hernia happens when the organs that are supposed to be in this box push through to the outside of the box through a defect or hole. There are several types of hernias:

  • Hiatal Hernia: Hernia through your diaphragm. (This is discussed in a separate section)
  • Epigastric Hernia: Hernia below the sternum and above the belly button, usually in the mid line.
  • Umbilical Hernia: Hernia at the belly button.
  • Ventral Hernia: Hernia at other parts of the abdominal wall.
  • Spigelian Hernia: Hernia that happens in between muscles.
  • Incisional Hernia: Hernia at a previous incision site.
  • Inguinal Hernia: Groin hernia.
  • Femoral / Obturator Hernia: Hernia typically extending from the groin down to the thigh.
  • Lumbar Hernia: Hernia at the back.
Hernia Types
Woman Strangulated Hernia Diagram
Strangulated Hernia

What Should I Do If I Have a Hernia?

Most hernias are not emergencies. Sometimes the hernias are very small and do not cause problems. However, a hernia never goes away by itself and can only be fixed through surgery. There are exceptions to surgery when a hernia can be watched but these are rare. We recommend discussing all hernias with one of our surgeons.Hernias can worsen over time and become larger and contain more organs and this makes the surgery more difficult than if the hernia was addressed early.There are two scenarios where a hernia becomes an emergency. The first is called incarceration where an organ becomes trapped in the hernia and cannot go back into the abdomen. The second is a progression of incarceration called strangulation. This is when the organ that is stuck starts to lose blood supply. To prevent incarceration or strangulation, we typically recommend hernia surgery for the vast majority of our patients.

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Once you have had a conversation about surgery and had all of your questions answered, these are the main steps to follow for surgery:
  • Discuss all of your medications with the doctor at your visit.
  • Register for your surgery at the hospital
  • Do not eat anything for 8 hours before surgery.
  • You will be given an instruction sheet about medications that you can and cannot take before surgery. If you are allowed to take medications, you can take them at your regular time with a very small amount of water.
  • Make sure you arrive two hours before your surgery time.
  • Make sure you have someone to take you home after surgery.

The vast majority of the patients will have this surgery as an outpatient and will go home the same day. You will need to be on a light diet that is low in fat and cholesterol for about 2 days after surgery so that you can recover from the anesthesia. We recommend a diet low in fat and cholesterol always but try to follow this for about 4 weeks after surgery to help the recovery process. Typically, after recovery there are no dietary restrictions.

The pain from surgery will slowly subside over a few weeks and you will be able to return to your daily activities. Return to work and regular activities is dependent on each patient. For a full list of discharge instructions from this surgery please refer to our discharge instructions.

Contact us at 909-398-4895 to make an appointment to visit us and discuss your treatment plan.

Examples of Open and Minimally Invasive Surgery

Open Groin Hernia

Minimally Invasive Groin Hernia Repair