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Procedures/Hernia Surgery

Hernia Procedures

Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery Procedure

What is a Hernia Procedure?

Hernia surgery, also known as herniorrhaphy or hernioplasty, is a medical procedure performed to repair a hernia. A hernia occurs when an organ or tissue protrudes through an opening or weak spot in the surrounding muscles or connective tissue. The most common types of hernias involve the abdomen, and the most common locations are the hiatal hernia, inguinal (groin)area, femoral region, umbilical area, and incisional (resulting from a previous surgery) sites.

A hiatal hernia is a condition in which a portion of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm and into the chest cavity.

The diaphragm is the muscular wall that separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity and plays a crucial role in breathing. The opening in the diaphragm, called the esophageal hiatus, allows the esophagus to pass through and connect to the stomach.


Hiatal hernias are classified into two main types:

  • Sliding Hiatal Hernia: This is the more common type of hiatal hernia. In a sliding hernia, the junction where the esophagus meets the stomach and a portion of the stomach itself slide or move up into the chest through the esophageal hiatus. This movement can cause a temporary disruption of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the muscular ring that normally prevents stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus.
  • Paraesophageal Hiatal Hernia: In this less common type, a portion of the stomach pushes through the diaphragm and lies alongside the esophagus. Unlike a sliding hernia, the esophagogastric junction remains in its normal location. Paraesophageal hiatal hernias may beat a higher risk of complications, such as strangulation or obstruction of the stomach.

Other types of hernias:

  • Inguinal Hernia: This type of hernia occurs in the groin area, and it is more common in men. It happens when part of the intestine or abdominal tissue protrudes through a weak spot in the inguinal canal, causing a bulge.
  • Femoral Hernia: Similar to inguinal hernias, femoral hernias occur lower down in the groin.They are less common but can lead to a bulge and discomfort.
  • Umbilical Hernia: This type of hernia occurs when part of the intestine or abdominal tissue protrudes through the abdominal wall near the navel (umbilicus). It is more common in infants, but it can also occur in adults.


Reasons for hernia surgery include:

  • Pain: Hernias can cause pain and discomfort, especially when straining or lifting heavy objects. Pain may also be present when the hernia is incarcerated or strangulated (when blood supply to the herniated tissue is compromised).
  • Risk of Complications: Hernias can lead to serious complications such as intestinal obstruction or strangulation, where blood flow to the herniated tissue is cut off. These complications are considered emergencies and require prompt surgical intervention.
  • Size of the Hernia: Larger hernias are more likely to cause symptoms and complications, and surgery may be recommended to prevent these issues.
  • Cosmetic Concerns: In some cases, individuals may opt for hernia surgery for cosmetic reasons, especially if the hernia is visible and causes a noticeable bulge.

Hernia surgery involves pushing the herniated tissue back into place and repairing the weakened or torn muscle or connective tissue. The procedure can be performed using open surgery or laparoscopic techniques, depending on the type and size of the hernia.


Factors that may contribute to their development

The exact cause of hiatal hernias is not always clear, but factors that may contribute to their development include:

  • Age: Hiatal hernias are more common in older adults.
  • Obesity: Excess weight and abdominal pressure can contribute to the development of a hiatal hernia.
  • Pregnancy: The pressure on the abdomen during pregnancy can lead to the formation of a hiatal hernia.
  • Certain Activities* Activities that involve straining, such as heavy lifting or persistent coughing, may increase the risk.
  • Genetics: There may be a genetic predisposition to developing hiatal hernias.

Many people with hiatal hernias may not experience any symptoms, and the condition may be discovered incidentally during medical examinations for unrelated issues. However, when symptoms do occur, they can include:

  • Heartburn: Due to the potential for stomach acid to reflux into the esophagus.
  • Regurgitation: The backflow of stomach contents into the throat.
  • Difficulty Swallowing: Especially if the hernia is large enough to affect the function of the esophagus.
  • Chest Pain: Sometimes resembling heartburn or angina.

Treatment for hiatal hernias may involve lifestyle modifications, such as dietary changes, weight management, and avoiding triggers for acid reflux. In more severe cases or when complications arise, surgical intervention may be considered to repair the hernia.

If you suspect you have a hernia or are experiencing symptoms related to a hernia, it’simportant to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper evaluation and to determinethe most appropriate course of treatment, which may or may not involve surgical intervention.

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