Types of Hernias

Inguinal

Inguinal or groin hernias are a frequently seen problem in otherwise healthy patients.  Whether they are causing pain, or completely asymptomatic, they deserve evaluation by a surgeon before they irrevocably damage the intestine or become so large they require complex repair strategies.  These common hernias may be treated by open, laparoscopic, or even robotic means, and patients usually need only a few days of down time before returning to normal activity.  At VSA, we don’t believe in a “one size fits all” philosophy of inguinal hernia repair, and we offer a variety of approaches representing almost 50 years of surgical research and development.  Your surgeon will work with you to select the best option for repair of your hernia. VSA surgeons perform nearly 1,500 inguinal hernia repairs annually, the majority of which are performed using minimally invasive techniques. 

For more information about Inguinalhttp://www.sages.org/publications/patient-information/patient-information-for-laparoscopic-inguinal-hernia-repair-from-sages/

Umbilical

The most common of all hernias, the “belly-button” hernia may be repaired as an outpatient with minimal loss of work days in most cases.  We offer several methods of repair, depending on each patient’s unique circumstances, including with and without mesh reinforcement.  These repairs may be performed by both open and laparoscopic techniques, utilizing either general anesthesia or mild sedation, depending on the complexity of the problem. VSA surgeons perform six hundred umbilical hernia repairs annually.

Epigastric

These frequently unrecognized hernias develop above the navel and can produce severe pain and nausea when the protruding tissues become trapped in them.  Repair can usually be accomplished with just 30 minutes of operating time, and patients generally can resume all but the most strenuous activities the day after surgery.

Incisional

One of the most complex and vexing issues in the world of surgery, incisional hernias are estimated to occur in at least one out of every ten surgical incisions.  They can produce debilitating symptoms, and in severe cases can be life-threatening.  When caught early, the repair can often be accomplished with minimally invasive techniques that reduce pain, tissue trauma, and recovery time.  Our surgeons utilize the most advanced modern methods of repair, including robotics, specialized anesthesia techniques, and complex reconstructive procedures to rebuild weakened tissues, restore abdominal wall function, and protect the internal organs from damage.  Cutting edge strategies, such as endoscopic component separation and transversus abdominus release, which in many areas of the country require travel to large university programs, are available to our patients right here in Northern Virginia.  We have successfully repaired hernias which have been denied treatment even at local academic centers, so don’t give up if you have been told your hernia is too complicated to fix.  Let our highly skilled hernia specialists evaluate the issue and give you an expert opinion.  Whether your incisional hernia repair is a straightforward proposition or a significant challenge requiring multispecialty interaction, we have the skills and experience to address it performing five hundred of these surgeries annually.

Femoral

The only hernia more common in women, the femoral hernia often produces significant symptoms of pain, and is more likely than many other types of hernia to become trapped or incarcerated.  These hernias are challenging to diagnose often leading to debilitating surgery.  However, when evaluated by a VSA surgeon and treated early it often requires just a few hours of your time to correct, and just a few days to return to full function.

Hiatal

This common condition is most often known for the symptoms it produces, notably acid reflux and distressing regurgitation of food (GERD).  Our surgeons were the first in the area to offer minimally invasive repair of this hernia, the first to utilize robotic techniques to improve the procedure, and have the most extensive experience of any group in the area in their treatment.  Our surgeons routinely teach this highly operator-dependent procedure to other physicians, and have lectured in teaching programs on its successful performance. With the highest patient satisfaction of any available treatment for reflux, hiatal hernia surgery is widely recognized as the gold standard in curing GERD.  If you suffer from troublesome acid reflux symptoms, make sure you get the facts on the surgical cure of this disease from the experts.  Don’t get sentenced to a lifetime of medication and dietary restriction when you can enjoy a symptom-free life after restoration of normal digestive physiology.

Ventral

http://www.sages.org/publications/patient-information/patient-information-for-laparoscopic-ventral-hernia-repair-from-sages/

Other

Several other much less common hernias exist, such as congenital and acquired defects of the diaphragm, lumbar hernias, Spigelian hernias, and obturator hernias.  It is imperative that experienced surgeons address these sometimes rare and challenging conditions, as these are often misdiagnosed and mistreated causing the problem to worsen. You may have also heard of “sports hernias.”  This complex group of disorders includes conditions that may or may not require surgery.  Let the experienced physicians at VSA guide you in the correct direction of therapy for these problems.

For more information on VSA’s Hernia Center please call 703-359-8640 to schedule an appointment with one of VSA’s surgical experts.