Flushing Hospital Medical Center now offers a comprehensive center to diagnose and treat a variety of forms of hernias.
A hernia occurs when an organ or fatty tissue pushes through a weak spot or an opening in the muscle or tissue that is supposed to hold it in place. There are many different types of hernias, including inguinal, hiatal, umbilical, and incisional.
- An inguinal hernia occurs when the intestines push through the lower abdominal wall, often in the inguinal canal located in the groin. . This is the most common type of hernia and it is more common in man than women.
- A hiatal hernia develops when part of the stomach protrudes up through the diaphragm into the chest cavity. This type of hernia almost always results in gastroesophageal reflux. Hiatal hernias are most common in adults 50 years or older.
- Umbilical hernias present in children and babies under six months old. They occur when the child’s intestines bulge through their abdominal wall, near the belly button. An umbilical hernia is the only type that can go away on its own as the babies muscles get stronger.
- An incisional hernia can take place after abdominal surgery. During this time, the tissues and muscles are typically weak and the intestines may push through an incision scar.
Hernias can develop quickly or slowly build over a long period of time. There are many factors that can contribute to the onset of a hernia. One of the most common reasons is straining a muscle while lifting heavy weight. Other factors include: being pregnant, being constipated, sudden weight gain, or persistent coughing or sneezing.
The most common symptom of a hernia is a bulge in the affected area. They are most identifiable through touch, especially when standing up, bending over, coughing, or crying (in babies). Other symptoms include pain in the affected area, weakness, or a burning sensation. Hiatal hernias will often result in acid reflux, chest pain, and possibly difficulty swallowing.
Your doctor can diagnose a hernia through a physical examination. Sometimes an x-ray or endoscopy is necessary. Treatment options for your hernia depend on the size and severity and can include lifestyle changes, medication or surgery.
Lifestyle changes can include altering your diet, exercising to increase muscle strength, avoiding lifting heavy objects and maintaining good posture. Medications may be helpful in the treatment of a hiatal hernia. In most cases however, surgery may be required.
Hernia procedures can be done using open or laparoscopic techniques and Flushing Hospital’s new Hernia Center offers a wide variety of options for both methods. Our expert staff has a great deal of experience in this field with excellent outcomes. Many of the procedures can be performed with minimally invasive techniques, including the utilization of our da Vinci Robotic Surgery System.
For more information about Flushing Hospital’s Hernia Center, please call 718-670-3135.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.