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Where On The Body Can Hernias Develop?

Jul 31, 2021

Where On The Body Can Hernias Develop?

Most of us are at least somewhat familiar with hernias and probably even have a friend or family member with a visible bulge that is characteristic of a hernia. You may still be surprised to learn just how many different kinds of hernias there are,...

Most of us are at least somewhat familiar with hernias and probably even have a friend or family member with a visible bulge that is characteristic of a hernia. You may still be surprised to learn just how many different kinds of hernias there are, where they can develop, and what symptoms they can cause. In the majority of cases, surgery is required to repair a hernia. In fact, when left untreated, certain hernias can cause life-threatening complications. The expert team of general surgeons at Sierra Pacific Surgical is highly experienced in even the most complex hernia cases and is committed to helping patients get the symptom relief and long-term peace of mind they deserve with both open and robotic hernia repair in Sacramento, CA. Read on to learn more about where a hernia may appear, why, and when treatment may be necessary.

What is a hernia?

A hernia refers to the bulging of tissue, organ, or even fat through a weakened spot in the nearby muscle. In some cases, hernias can develop without an obvious cause, while other hernias are the direct result of one or more factors, such as:

  • Injury
  • Previous surgery
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Persistent cough
  • Straining and pushing
  • Heavy lifting

What does a hernia look like?

The appearance of a hernia depends on the type of hernia, its severity, its location, the patient’s body habitus, and other factors. Oftentimes, a hernia presents as a small bulge or lump that may become more pronounced with cough, strain, or push. In other cases, a hernia may not be visible from the outside. For example, a hiatal hernia develops between the diaphragm and stomach inside a person’s body and often requires imaging to make a formal diagnosis.

What are the different kinds of hernias?

Hernias can appear in many areas, though they are most often present in the midsection, abdomen, and groin. Common types and locations of hernias in Sacramento, CA include:

  • Umbilical hernia: Perhaps the most recognizable hernia is the umbilical hernia, which may develop near or within the belly button. Infants, babies, and children often have umbilical hernias from birth, which may resolve on their own.
  • Hiatal hernia: Along with paraesophageal hernias and diaphragmatic hernias, hiatal hernias involve the stomach or another structure bulging through an opening in the diaphragm.
  • Inguinal hernia: More common in men than women, an inguinal hernia can be seen or felt in the groin and is caused by either the intestine or bladder pushing through the inguinal canal.
  • Incisional hernia: These hernias, which appear in the abdomen, are most commonly attributed to previous abdominal surgery.

Somewhat less common are Spigelian hernias and epigastric hernias, both of which also affect the abdomen. Additionally, patients can develop lumbar hernias in the lower back.

How do you fix a hernia?

While some hernias may respond to lifestyle changes or medication, the majority of hernias require surgery to correct. If a hernia is not causing pain or other symptoms, it may not need immediate repair. In fact, some hernias may never need treatment. However, certain hernias can lead to life-threatening complications if left untreated. Signs that you may need hernia surgery include:

  • Chronic, severe, or worsening pain
  • Fever
  • Constipation
  • Hernia becomes dark red, purple, or blue
  • Nausea or vomiting

At Sierra Pacific Surgical, our highly-trained surgeons perform both routine and complex herniorrhaphy. Depending on the nature and severity of your hernia, your symptoms, the location of the hernia, your overall health, and other factors, our team may recommend either open hernia repair or minimally invasive robotic hernia surgery. With either approach, hernia repair involves gently pushing the organ or tissue back into its appropriate place and securing the hole in the muscle with sutures or mesh. With expert hernia repair by our skilled general surgeons, you can achieve the comfort and confidence you deserve.

Find out whether you need hernia surgery in Northern California

Whether you have only recently noticed a bulge beneath the skin or have lived with a hernia for many years, it can be both a cosmetic and functional nuisance. If you are having painful hernia symptoms, have concerns about changes in your hernia, or are simply embarrassed by a hernia, Sierra Pacific Surgical can help. To learn more about cutting-edge hernia repair, call either of our convenient locations in Folsom or Roseville, CA to schedule your one-on-one consultation today!