Hernia FAQ

Written by Dr. Michael Reinhorn 2012

What is hernia mesh and do all surgeons use the same mesh?

The most common material used to make a hernia mesh patch is polypropylene. It is safe, resistant to infection and has been used for more than 50 years. Every several years technology improves the material characteristics in order to provide stronger, lighter products that are better tolerated by patients.

Each surgeon in the practice uses different kinds of mesh. Most surgeons in the place the mesh between the muscle layers for the majority of repairs.

Dr. Reinhorn also offers a non mesh repair or a posterior mesh repair.

Dr. Reinhorn uses the Ventrio™ ST patch for the open pre-peritoneal inguinal hernia repair and the Ventralex™ patch for umbilical hernias. Dr. Reinhorn also

What causes a hernia?

Some people are actually born with a hernia, such as an umbilical hernia. Others develop a hernia, such as an inguinal hernia, as some of their abdominal tissues stretch enough to allow internal abdominal organs or fat to pop through the abdominal wall.

What is a hernia?

A hernia occurs when tissue such as intestine or abdominal fat slides through a hole in the abdominal wall, just under the skin.

Where do hernias occur?

Hernias occurring in the lower abdomen, near the groin are called inguinal or femoral hernias. Hernias occurring in the front of the abdomen are called ventral or umbilical (if at the belly button).

Who can get a hernia?

While some children are born with hernias, most hernias occur in adults of any age. Men are much more likely to get hernias than women by a factor of 10 to 1.

What are symptoms of a hernia?

  • These are common symptoms of a hernia
  • Pain or discomfort when sitting, standing, lifting, sneezing, coughing or just at the end of the day.
  • Pain during activity that restricts that activity.
  • Pressure or weakness in the inguinal region (groin).
  • New constipation or difficulty in urination when combined with a new bulge.

Do I have to have surgery if I have a hernia?

Whether or not you need surgery if you have a hernia depends on your symptoms. Recent medical research indicates that patients who have either little or no discomfort from their hernias have such a low rate of complications that surgery is not immediately necessary.

When should I consider hernia repair surgery?

If your hernia causes pain, interferes with your daily activities, or prevents you from exercise, it’s time to talk to a surgeon about repair options.

What is a sports hernia?

Most hernia surgeons refer to sports hernias as Inguinal Pubalgia or Athletic Pubalgia. While there is a lot written online about this subject, the consensus of most hernia surgeons is that a musculoskeletal injury occurs as a result of a sport. Most patient present with Inguinal or lower abdominal pain which is made worse with exercise. Patients often feel discomfort at night and do not have a hernia on physical examination.

Current treatment recommendation is for aggressive physical therapy to treat the injury and core muscle imbalance that caused the injury. If unsuccessful after 6 months, surgery is recommended, though no single approach as been shown to be better than any other approach.

Visit Newton Wellesley Surgeons

2000 Washington Street
Green Building, Suite 365
Newton, MA 02462

Monday – Friday
8:30am – 4:30pm