Hernias occur when an organ such as an intestine or fatty tissue bulges through an opening or weak area in a surrounding muscle or connective tissue, such as the abdomen. This often occurs when some form of pressure causes a breach in the weakened tissue, such as persistent coughing or sneezing, constipation, or improperly lifting heavy objects.
All hernias are not necessarily dangerous. However, if your daily lifestyle begins to be affected by the hernia, then surgical repair should be considered.
There are situations where the contents of the organ or tissue become trapped (incarcerated). An incarcerated hernia can become strangulated, which cuts off the blood flow to the tissue that's trapped. This can be serious if it isn't treated.
Experienced hernia surgeons
The board-certified, fellowship-trained surgeons at White Plains Hospital are highly trained in the diagnosis and minimally invasive repair of hernias.
Each of our surgeons is committed to providing patients a quality, state-of-the-art hernia repair that will last over time. Our surgeons make sure patients understand their hernia and which surgical options, if any, are best for their situation. They also help their patients get back to their lives as soon as safely possible. Most patients go home the same day of their hernia surgery.
Common hernias treated
A femoral hernia occurs when the intestine pushes into the canal carrying the femoral artery into the upper thigh. Femoral hernias are most common in women, especially those who are pregnant or obese.
A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper stomach is forced up through the diaphragm, which can often cause gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This occurs most frequently in those over the age of 50 who are obese and is a result of changes in the diaphragm caused by age, injury or intense pressure, or simply is a result of being born with a large opening (hiatus) in the diaphragm.
Inguinal hernias are the most common and occur when a weakness in the abdominal wall allows a portion of the bladder or the intestine to protrude into the groin area.
An umbilical hernia is when part of the small intestine passes through the abdominal wall near the navel. It is most common in newborns but also occurs in women who are obese or who have had many children.
An incisional hernia occurs when the intestine pushes through the abdominal wall where a previous surgery occurred, most commonly in elderly or overweight people who are inactive after abdominal surgery.
A ventral hernia occurs when a portion of intestine bulges through an opening in the middle of the abdomen.
In an epigastric hernia, the intestine bulges through a hole in the muscle above the belly button.
Diagnosis & treatment
Today, most hernias can be repaired laparoscopically. During surgery, the protruding organ or tissue is gradually moved back into its proper position and the weakness through which it protruded is closed to prevent it from re-herniating. In some cases, mesh may be used to reinforce the weakened tissue that was compromised by the protrusion.
Our surgeons excel at all types of hernia repairs and can tailor the technique used to best meet a patient's individual needs. Depending on the type of hernia and a patient's medical factors, options can include traditional open hernia surgery, laparoscopic hernia surgery and robotic hernia surgeries. Minimally invasive robotic surgeries can be used for the treatment of ventral and inguinal hernias. Its advantages include small incisions, a quick recovery and less post-surgery pain.
After their hernia is repaired, patients receive advice about steps they can take in their everyday lives that will decrease the chance that their hernia will come back (what's known as a recurrent hernia).