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General Surgery

Hernia Overview

Hernia repair at Virginia Hospital Center may be performed with minimally invasive and laparoscopic techiques. This results in less pain, a faster return to activity, and less chance of infection or the hernia returning.

What is a hernia?

From Hernia Resource Center:

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, some five million Americans have a hernia. Yet, only about 750,000 Americans seek treatment each year. The balance do not because they perceive surgery, the only way to treat a hernia, to be an inconvenience to their daily lifestyle and those around them. Others perceive surgery to be a major invasive procedure that requires an extended hospital stay, followed by a long and painful period of recovery.

Fortunately for patients and their physicians, there are a variety of safe, simple and quick surgical procedures that can eliminate these worries in some patients and have them back to their daily activities in very little time. Hernia repairs are common, and routine surgical procedures, tools and technologies have evolved accordingly.

Types of Hernia

Symptoms

A hernia can be both seen and felt. You may notice it as a lump in your abdomen or groin that may or may not disappear when you lay down or press on it. You may also be aware of a dull aching sensation that becomes more pronounced when you are active. The bulge may get bigger over time.

Causes

It is not uncommon for someone to be born with a weakness in their abdominal wall. The weakness can also occur over time or from a previous surgical incision. Pressure from organs or tissue pushing on the weakness can cause a hernia. Age, smoking and obesity can also contribute to weakened tissue.

Risk Factors

Inguinal hernias are more common in men than women. A hernia will not get better on its own. If a hernia is not repaired, it could become incarcerated (trapped) or strangulated. Strangulation is dangerous because a loop of intestine can get caught in the hernia and cut off blood supply to the tissue and is treated as a medical emergency. If a man has a strangulated hernia, the chance of damage to the testicle increases.

Diagnosis

Your physician will be able to evaluate your condition, primarily with a physical examination, and determine whether or not you have a hernia. Your physician will then refer you to consult with a surgeon.

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Hernia & Heartburn Institute

  • Phone: 703.372.2280
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  • 8988 Lorton Station Blvd Suite 202,
    Lorton, VA 22079

Surgical Specialists

1701 N. George Mason Drive | Arlington, VA 22205-3698 | tel 703.558.5000
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