Hernia Treatment in Healdsburg, CA
A hernia is a bulging of an internal organ through a weakness or opening in the wall of a muscle or tissue. An inguinal hernia is the most common type of hernia which occurs in the groin area and accounts for approximately 75% of all abdominal hernias. Other common hernia types include:
- Umbilical hernias occur near the naval area and are most common in infants, women during or after pregnancy, and in the obese.
- Femoral hernias occur when intestine or fat enters the femoral canal—the passageway that carries blood vessels to and from your legs—and are very rare.
- Incisional hernias occur after a surgical operation due to the weakness of scar tissue.
- Epigastric hernias occur below the ribcage but above the belly button and are most common in people with weak spots in their abdominal muscles.
- Hiatal hernias occur when part of the stomach pushes through the diaphragm and into the chest cavity, leading to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and heartburn.
Surgery, pregnancy, aging, injury and natural weakness present from birth can all contribute to a hernia's formation. Regardless of hernia type, all hernias can cause significant discomfort and should not go untreated. To schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare provider in Healdsburg that specializes in hernia treatment, call (707) 604-3600 or contact Dr. Michele Zormeier online.
A hernia can develop quickly or over a period of time and, in some cases, may have no symptoms. For others, hernia symptoms can include:
- A bulge in the affected area which may disappear when lying down
- Pain or discomfort at the bulge site which can range from a slight discomfort to severe pain
- Tenderness to touch
- Weakness or heaviness in the abdomen
Lifting, muscle strains, weight gain and coughing may all contribute to an aggravation of your hernia symptoms or help you to determine a hernia is present; however, none of these activities typically lead to a hernia's actual formation. If a hernia becomes strangulated—compromising blood supply to the affected tissue—fever, nausea and vomiting may ensue. In cases of a strangulated hernia, it is critical to seek medical attention immediately.
Hernia Treatment Options
If you suspect you or a loved one are suffering from a hernia, your healthcare provider will begin with a review of your medical history and a physical examination. Most hernias can usually be discovered during this physical exam as your healthcare provider feels for a bulge in your abdomen or groin. You may be asked to stand, cough, bend or lift in order to detect the hernia. Your healthcare provider may also utilize an ultrasound or CT scan to help in the diagnostic process. An endoscopy or barium X-ray may be requested to assess any blockage in your bowels and to detect the presence of a hiatal hernia.
Your hernia treatment will depend on the size and location of your hernia and the severity of your hernia pain. In mild cases, your healthcare provider may provide ongoing monitoring of your hernia to check for changes. However, most hernias do not resolve on their own and will require medical treatment.
Hernia surgery is likely the course your healthcare provider will recommend and can be completed via open or laparoscopic surgery.
- Laparoscopic hernia surgery is considered the more conservative hernia repair approach and requires several tiny abdominal incisions to complete. Utilizing small surgical instruments and a camera, your surgeon returns organs to their proper locations and places mesh over the weakened area.
- Open hernia surgery is the traditional surgical hernia repair approach which creates one long incision vs the multiple tiny incisions of laparoscopic surgery. Similarly to the laparoscopic approach, your surgeon will move organs to their proper locations and utilize mesh. Recovery time is longer with open surgery but often hernia recurrence is lower with this approach.
Even after surgery, a hernia may return which makes prevention of new hernias an important part of your ongoing health plan. Your healthcare provider will likely suggest smoking cessation, achieving a healthy weight and avoidance of lifting things which are too heavy for you. If you experience multiple failed attempts at repairing your hernia, it is often considered complex, and complex hernia repair surgery may be necessary.
Schedule a consultation with a hernia doctor in Healdsburg that can discuss your treatment options. Call (707) 604-3600 or contact Dr. Michele Zormeier online today.
Zormeier Cosmetic Surgery and Longevity Center
Address431 East Street
Healdsburg, CA 95448