As a centre of excellence, we offer hernia repair surgery for most types of hernias including inguinal and femoral hernias in the groin area, umbilical and hiatus hernias in the abdomen, incisional hernias as a result of previous surgery and epigastric hernias between the belly and breastbone.
What is a hernia?
A hernia occurs when an internal structure pushes out through a weakness or defect in the abdominal wall. Abdominal hernias can occur anywhere between the rib cage and the groin but the most common sites are around the groin or navel.
There is a chance that any protruding tissue may become trapped in the future. If this happens the blood supply to whatever is trapped may be cut off and it could easily become dead or ‘gangrenous’. In that case, it might be necessary to do emergency surgery. Any weakness in the abdominal wall muscle can allow the passage of fat or organs such as small bowel to push through. This can produce a hernia with the most common types including Inguinal hernia (groin), Incisional hernia (due to a previous incision/ operation scar), Femoral hernia (groin), Umbilical hernia (belly button), and Epigastric hernia (upper abdomen).
How do herniae present?
Herniae can present with pain and/or a noticeable lump and require assessment and possibly surgery by specialised Surgeons. There are a number of different types of hernia, most are classified by anatomical location. The list below is not an exhaustive one. It does cover most of the most common types of hernia and might give you some indication of what type you may have.
Most common tyes of hernia:
Epigastric hernia is a protrusion normally seen noted between the xiphoid process (breast bone) and the umbilicus (navel) as a result of weakness or opening of the underlying muscles or tendons.
Femoral hernia similar to an inguinal hernia and occurs in the groin area near the leg crease. It is often painful with an obvious lump.
Hiatus hernia is when part of your stomach moves up into your chest. It’s very common if you’re over 50. It does not normally need treatment if it’s not causing you problems.
Inguinal hernia is a protrusion in the lower abdomen or groin area. It often presents predominantly with a bulge in the groin area but can also present with pain and sometimes a burning sensation.
Incisional hernia is also a protrusion which occurs through a defect in the site of a previous abdominal incision/ scar.
Parastomal hernia is where the intestines push through the muscles around the stoma, resulting in a noticeable bulge under the skin.
Spigelian hernia is a hole through a weakness in the abdominal wall. At the start of trouble you may notice a lump or bulge appearing to the side and below your tummy button. It occurs along the lower edge of the “six-pack” in body builders. The bulge consists most usually of fatty tissue but may contain bowel (gut). You may experience discomfort at first but it may become more painful when lifting heavy objects or coughing.
Sportsmans hernia (groin) is a condition characterised by chronic groin pain. There is no definable hernia identified with a rupture of muscles or tendons in the inguinal canal often attributed to the cause of the condition. Many professional footballers and rugby players have had treatment for this condition.
Stomal hernia is a type of incisional hernia. Because a hole is created in the abdominal wall to form the stoma there is a potential weak spot for a hernia to develop. Stomal hernias are quite common and when small may go unnoticed. Stomal hernias left untreated can get larger with time.
Strangulated Hernia is a relatively rare complication of hernias it can occur with any type of hernia. Strangulation risk is probably greatest with femoral hernias.
Umbilical hernia is a protusion directly at the belly button or navel. A hernia around the belly button is commonly know as a para-umbilical hernia.
Common types of hernia
What Our Patients Say
Epigastric Hernia patient
"After successfully undergoing an operation at the Alexandra Hospital for my epigastric hernia, I know I should make the time to explain how grateful I am to you for making such a significant difference to the quality of my life. Most pleasing has been how easily things have been corrected despite me having left it far too long before seeking your help. Thank you."