The most common sign of an abdominal hernia is a protruding bulge in the abdomen or groin that may or may not be painful. When gentle pressure is applied, most abdominal hernias will flatten. Usually, symptoms of an abdominal hernia worsen after strenuous activity or prolonged periods of sitting or standing.
In rare cases, an abdominal hernia may also be accompanied by severe pain, nausea and vomiting. These are signs of an encarcerated or strangulated hernia, which is a life-threatening complication that occurs when a piece of the patient’s bowel becomes trapped (encarcerated) within the hernia, resulting in a compromised blood supply (strangulated). This is considered a medical emergency and requires immediate evaluation and emergency surgery.
What causes an abdominal hernia?
In some cases, abdominal hernias are present at birth. In others, they appear over time due to a weakening of the abdominal wall that allows organs and tissues to protrude through. This weakness occurs from increased pressure within the abdomen, caused by a chronic cough, straining to have a bowel movement, trauma to the abdomen, lifting heavy objects, excessive fluid in the abdomen, pregnancy or being overweight.
How are abdominal hernias diagnosed?
In most cases, a physical examination of the protruding bulge can confirm the presence of an abdominal hernia. However, for hernias that are difficult to detect due to their location, size and lack of physical symptoms, a CT scan may be necessary to provide a definitive diagnosis.
To diagnose a strangulated abdominal hernia, your doctor will perform an urgent assessment of your symptoms, as well as an X-ray or CT scan to assess the damage to the trapped portion of the intestine. These diagnostic tests allow the doctor to compose an appropriate surgical plan to treat the strangulated hernia before additional complications develop.
How are abdominal hernias treated?
It is important to note that abdominal hernias will not repair themselves. Even if the pain disappears over time, the hernia still exists. Abdominal hernia treatment using surgery is the only way to fully resolve the condition.
There are two distinct surgical options our experts use to treat abdominal hernias: open hernia surgery or laparoscopic hernia repair. The procedure we use will be dependent on the exact nature, size and location of your hernia, as well as your medical history.
During your open hernia surgery, our experts will make a single long incision in the abdomen, near the site of the defect. We will then return the tissues and organs to their proper location before repairing the hole or weakness in the abdominal wall using a mesh underlay or sutures. Recovery from open hernia surgery will typically last about three weeks, at which point patients may resume their normal activities. At six weeks following their abdominal hernia treatment in Los Angeles, patients can resume strenuous exercise.
In some cases, we may use a minimally invasive procedure called laparoscopic hernia repair. During surgery, our experts will insert a thin scope with a camera attached to obtain internal visibility of the hernia and surrounding structures. We will then make a small incision to expose the weakened tissues in the abdominal wall, before placing a mesh patch or sutures to repair the defect. Following laparoscopic hernia repair, the recovery period is slightly shorter and associated with less pain and discomfort than open hernia surgery. In most cases, recovery lasts one to two weeks, at which point patients can resume light activity. At four weeks, patients can resume strenuous exercise.
If you suspect you have an abdominal hernia, or you have a protruding bulge near the groin or abdomen, it is important to seek immediate evaluation at our Los Angeles Hernia Center. Untreated hernias can lead to irreversible damage and the development of life-threatening complications, so time is of the essence. During your initial appointment, our team of surgeons will evaluate your symptoms and provide a definitive diagnosis. From there, we will compose a custom surgical plan to repair your hernia and prevent a recurrence using the most comfortable and minimally invasive techniques available. With years of experience and countless successful procedures, our surgeons have developed a reputation for delivering among the best abdominal hernia treatment Los Angeles has to offer.
We specialize in performing complete hernia surgery and repair, using the latest and most minimally invasive techniques available. Moreover, our staff is comprised of two leading hernia experts, both of whom are fully committed to providing our patients with the best abdominal hernia repair Beverly Hills has available.
All procedures are performed in our surgical care center, which is a private alternative to a hospital setting. Because hernia repair is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, hospitalization simply is not necessary. As such, many patients prefer to undergo treatment in our state-of-the-art facility, which offers an added level of privacy, convenience, and comfort.Learn more