Diagnosis of a Hernia
Most hernias are diagnosed with a simple physical evaluation and are often found during routine physicals. Most hernias present with a bulge somewhere in the abdomen, depending on the type of hernia.
On occasion, if a hernia is suspected but cannot be found with a physical examination, imaging technology such as ultrasound, MRI or CT scan can be used to help with the diagnosis.
Treatment for a Hernia
Unfortunately, hernias do not go away on their own and require a surgical procedure to correct them. Many patients will never know they have a hernia, or their hernia is asymptomatic, so will never have it repaired. For those who have a higher risk of strangulation and/or significant symptoms, surgery is usually advised.
Surgery to repair a hernia is relatively straightforward. Today, hernia repairs are usually performed using a thin, synthetic surgical mesh placed over the hole to create a tension free repair. The technique to lay the mesh varies based on a surgeon’s preferred method.
We perform most of our surgical repairs using laparoscopy or robotic techniques due to the shorter recovery time and lower incidence of chronic pain. The mesh is placed over the defect from within the abdomen. Most patients are in and out of the surgery center on the same day, back to work within a few days and back to normal activity within 2-3 weeks, depending on type of activity and work.
Open surgery involves an incision on the outer wall of the abdomen using a scalpel. Various techniques allow the mesh to be affixed from the outside or the inside of the defect, again depending on the surgeon’s preference. Open surgery can use mesh or suturing alone to repair the defect.