Expert Treatment for the Most Complex Hernias

Mercy Health offers a full range of specialized hernia treatment and repair options with minimal pain, quick recovery and a reduced chance of recurrence; from the most common to the most complex cases.

Our goals are to:

  • provide a lasting repair
  • offer cost-effective outpatient care for most inguinal, umbilical, and many smaller abdominal hernias
  • provide the latest options for complex hernias requiring abdominal reconstruction
  • restore you to normal activities after recovery

What is a hernia?

Usually, when using the term “hernia,” doctors and patients are referring to abdominal wall hernias. These are defects, or holes, in the abdominal wall that allow contents to protrude beyond the confines of the abdominal cavity into the fatty layer just beneath the skin. Usually this occurs at a point of natural weakness in the abdominal wall. Hernias in scars are common because surgical scars often create weak areas or further weaken natural weak spots.

The abdominal wall is a complex arrangement of muscles and tendinous tissue that not only contain our vital abdominal organs but also play an important role in the muscular activity of almost the entire body; stabilizing the trunk for arm and leg motions, maintaining posture, bending over and others. Hernias can cause problems by trapping or pinching protruding contents in the hernia opening, and, in the case of very large hernias, interfering with the normal muscular functions of the abdominal wall.

Factors that can contribute to a hernia include: 

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Prior hernia surgeries
  • Congenital (from birth)
  • Heavy lifting
Inguinal Hernia

Inguinal hernias are commonly referred to as groin hernias. The name comes from an anatomic area called the inguinal canal, which in men contains a passage for the blood supply of the testicles to penetrate the abdominal wall. In women an inguinal canal also exists containing a suspensory ligament of the uterus (round ligament). Inguinal hernias are the most common of all naturally occurring hernias and are more often present in men than women, but are seen in both. They can even be seen fairly frequently in children and young adults.

Umbilical Hernia

Vertically up and down the middle of the abdomen (anatomically this midline is called the linea alba) there are no muscles, only connective tissue. The umbilicus, or “belly button” is where the umbilical cord penetrated the abdominal wall before birth. This then leaves a natural weak area in this already relatively thin midline area. Hernias here often occur in women after childbirth, as a persistent defect since birth, or acquired as one ages and gains weight. This is also one of the preferred areas for surgeons to make incisions for laparoscopic procedures, creating more scar tissue. These are very common hernias.

Incisional Hernia

An incisional hernia is a hernia that occurs in any scar from previous abdominal surgery. Surgical scars in the midline area are the most vulnerable to form this type of hernia, but these can occur in any scar on the abdomen. These can range from small hernias from a laparoscopic surgery to giant hernias involving most of the abdominal wall. The type of repair and complexity can vary considerably depending upon the size and location of the defect.

What type of surgeon performs hernia repair?

The most common hernias, as described above, are typically repaired by a general surgeon. Robotic-assisted laparoscopic repairs are an attractive for option for many patients with inguinal hernias and other certain types of ventral hernias. Generally, inguinal hernias occurring on both sides are especially suitable for this technique. For some recurrent hernias in the groin, this approach can also be advantageous. Robotic surgery for one-sided inguinal hernias is also an option.

However, a more complex hernia, may require a more in-depth and multi-staged approach to repair. For these most complex hernias, The Hernia Center at The Jewish Hospital – Mercy Health offers a unique, collaborative approach.

Complex Hernia Repair Available at The Jewish Hospital

Mercy Health – Cincinnati, which provides advanced, compassionate, quality care in your neighborhood through its care network, announces that Mercy Health Physicians Yasir Khan, DO, who specializes in bariatric, general and minimally invasive surgery, and Neil Kundu, MD, who specializes in aesthetic, plastic and reconstructive surgery, are working together at The Jewish Hospital to repair the most complex hernias successfully.

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