What Are Hernias?

A hernia is a medical condition that develops when your internal organs — typically your intestines — push through a weak spot in your abdominal wall. Hernias are extremely common, with more than 1 million hernia repairs performed each year in the United States alone.

Hernias can affect people of all ages, and while all hernias share some similarities, they range in severity and location. Hernias most commonly appear in the abdomen or groin, and symptoms can include a visible bulge and abdominal pain.

Not all hernias are painful, but that doesn’t mean they should be ignored. If you suspect you might have a hernia, trust your care to Ellis A. Tinsley, MD, FACS, FSVS and our team at Tinsley Surgical in Wilmington, North Carolina. We regularly repair hernias with minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery to get you back on your feet quickly.

Types of hernias

Hernias can form anywhere there’s a weak spot in your muscle tissue. The most common locations for hernias are in the abdomen or groin. 

Hiatal hernias are a type of abdominal hernia that forms when your stomach pushes up through your diaphragm. Research shows that up to 60% of people will develop a hiatal hernia by the time they’re 60 years old. Other types of abdominal hernias include epigastric hernias and umbilical hernias.

Groin hernias include inguinal hernias and femoral hernias, which often develop near your genitals, where your hip meets your thigh. Men are at the greatest risk of inguinal hernias, while women are more likely to suffer femoral hernias.

Symptoms of a hernia

A visible lump at the site of the hernia is the most common and obvious symptom. The lump generally appears like a soft bulge below the surface of your skin that can easily be pushed back into your body.

Sometimes, the hernia bulge may disappear when you lie down and reappear when you stand. The lump may grow over time if the hernia is left untreated, creating a firmer bulge that’s not as easy to push back.

A visible bulge is often the only noticeable symptom of a hernia, but in some cases, it can cause pain. Hernia pain may feel like a heavy sensation in the affected area. Pain may increase with strain, such as standing up or lifting heavy objects.

Hernia repair with laparoscopic surgery

Hernias don’t heal on their own. In fact, untreated hernias often get worse over time. The only way to ensure your hernia is fixed and your risk of complications is reduced is surgical hernia repair.

At Tinsley Surgical, Dr. Tinsley and our team specialize in laparoscopic hernia repair. Laparoscopic surgery involves as little as one incision in your belly button, and it’s much less invasive compared to open surgical techniques.

Dr. Tinsley inserts the laparoscope, which is a tiny, flexible camera, into the incision. Using the images generated by the camera, our team guides specialized tools to the area affected by the hernia. We put the organs back in place and repair the weak spot, reinforcing tissue with surgical mesh so you’re less likely to suffer another hernia in the same spot later.

Are you bothered by abdominal pain? Have you noticed a visible bulge in your stomach or groin? Don’t let a hernia go undiagnosed. Schedule an appointment with our team at Tinsley Surgical to learn more about your treatment options.

Call our office at 910-421-2395, book an appointment online, or send Dr. Tinsley a message now.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Risk Factors for Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. It’s often caused by sun exposure, but other factors like indoor tanning and skin type could increase your risk. Find out what your risk of skin cancer is and how you can protect your health.

What Every Woman Needs to Know About Heart Health

Heart conditions are often cast as a men’s health issue, but the truth is that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both genders. Heart disease and other heart issues can appear differently in women, so learning key differences is crucial.

Treating Carotid Artery Disease

Carotid artery disease is a leading cause of stroke. It blocks blood flow to your brain, but treatment can preserve your health. From conservative care like regular exercise to advanced surgery, find out more about treating carotid artery disease.

What's Involved in a Cholecystectomy

Most people know they have a gallbladder, but they aren’t fully aware of what the organ does until it isn’t working properly. Learn about your gallbladder and about the surgery to remove it, known as a cholecystectomy.

Which Varicose Vein Treatment is Right for You?

Although varicose veins are a common condition that develops as you age, you don’t have to accept them. Learn about treatment options available for varicose veins and find the one that’s best for you.

Vascular Surgery and COVID-19: What You Should Know

At Tinsley Surgical, we are committed to providing our patients with excellent vascular and surgical care. We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has created a lot of stress and confusion. Learn what we are doing to help you stay healthy and safe.