Health

What is a hernia?

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A hernia is a weakness, usually in the body’s abdominal wall. About 200,000 cases are reported in the United States every year.

“Hernias can be located in the navel or the groin, allowing organs — often the intestines — and tissue to bulge through,” said Dr. Sharfi Sarker, general surgeon with Centegra Physician Care – Surgical Associates. “If there are incisions from previous operations, then hernias can be located at the incisions, as well.”

Hernias can occur at any age and are much more common in men than in women. Risk factors for hernias include gaining weight; significant activity, including heavy lifting; and smoking.

“The most common symptom is a bulge,” Sarker said. “Patients can either see the bulge or feel it, particularly when increasing the pressure inside the abdomen, for example, with activities like sneezing, coughing or lifting heavy objects. Even standing can exacerbate a hernia symptom.”

The treatment options for hernias include laparoscopic and open operations.

“In either case, the operation is an outpatient operation where patients come in the day of the operation, have the operation and then go home the same day,” Sarker said.

Open hernia surgery involves closing the hernia using some combination of sutures or mesh. The laparoscopic approach repairs the hernia through a minimally invasive procedure. The surgeon uses small incisions and patients have a quicker recovery with laparoscopic surgery. Both surgeries are performed under general anesthesia.

“Your surgeon can determine whether an open or laparoscopic approach is the best option for your type of hernia,” Sarker said.

Call 815-455-2752 to make an appointment with Sarker.

Centegra Health System : 4309 Medical Center Drive, McHenry, IL 60050 : 815.338.6600 : centegra.org

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