The typical hernia is a weakness or defect in the abdominal wall. It may be present at birth, develop over a period of time, or be due to injury. There are several common sites for abdominal hernias to develop. The Umbilical (Belly Button), Inguinal (Groin) and Ventral or Incisional sites have a natural tendency to be weak and can be predisposed to hernia formation.
The wall of the abdomen has natural areas of potential weakness. Hernias can develop at these areas or other areas due to heavy strain on the abdominal wall, aging, injury, an old incision or a weakness in the abdominal wall present at birth. Anyone can get a hernia at any age. Most hernias in children are congenital. In adults, a natural weakness or strain from heavy lifting, persistent coughing, difficulty with bowel movements or urination can cause the abdominal wall to weaken or separate, and hernias to form.
There is no acceptable nonsurgical medical treatment for a hernia. The standard method of treatment is surgical repair. Modern hernia repair is referred to as “tension-free” and involves placing a prosthetic material referred to as “mesh” in the area to strengthen the weakness. Tension-free hernia repairs are achieved using two surgical approaches:
Your surgeon, after fully evaluating you, will be in the best position to recommend the best option.