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What is a Hernia

Occurring in the abdomen or groin area, a hernia occurs when tissue or an internal organ bulges through a weak area of muscle. Hernias may cause discomfort, pain and swelling in the area of the hernia. Types of hernia include:

  • Inguinal (in the groin area)
  • Umbilical (around the belly button)
  • Incisional (through a scar)
  • Hiatal (a small opening in the diaphragm which allows the upper part of the stomach to move up into the chest)

Hernia symptoms vary depending on the type of hernia. Symptoms may include:

  • A swelling beneath in the abdomen or groin area, which may become more pronounced and painful when sneezing, coughing, lifting heavy objects or during strenuous activities. They may disappear when you lie down or relax.
  • A heavy feeling in the abdomen, which may be accompanied by constipation or blood in the stool.
  • Symptoms of a hiatal hernia may include heartburn and abdominal pain.

A trained physician is generally able to diagnose a hernia during a routine exam. In most cases, other tests will not be necessary unless they will directly impact the type of repair the patient will be offered. A CT scan may helpyour surgeon determine the best method of repair. Depending on the type of hernia and the severity, your physician may recommend hernia repair surgery.

Hernia Repair

In general, hernias should be repaired to avoid the possibility of future intestinal strangulation. Hernias do not go away on their own. Only surgery can repair a hernia. Hernia repair is one of the most common surgeries done in the United States and is typically performed by a general surgeon.

Surgery can be intimidating, but the good news is that you have more options today than ever before.McLaren Health Care offers a minimally invasive approach to hernia repair using the da Vinci® Surgical System. The goal of robotic surgery is to make procedures more precise, more effective, less invasive, and easier on patients.

Meet Our Providers


Stephen Cahill, D.O.

Surgery - Breast, Surgery - General


Roy Hanks, D.O.

Surgery - General


Ashley Harnden, D.O.

Surgery - General