Hernia Repair FAQ

What is hernia mesh? Are there different types of mesh that can be used during surgery?

Polypropylene is the most common material used to create hernia mesh. Because it is not prone to infection and is safe, it has been most surgeons’ preferred type of mesh for the past 50 years. Technology continually enhances polypropylene in order to create more resistant and lighter products that are better agree with patients.

Each surgeon in the practice has a preferred type of mesh he or she tends to use. Most often, surgeons insert the mesh between the muscle layers.


How does a hernia develop?

An umbilical hernia is a type of hernia the person is born with. Other types of hernia develop later in life, like an inguinal hernia, as abdominal tissues stretch sufficiently to let internal abdominal organs or fat to seep through the abdominal wall.


What is a hernia?

A hernia is what happens when tissue such as fat from the intestines or abdomen pop out through a hole in the abdominal wall, beneath the skin.


Where do hernias appear?

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

Who can get a hernia?

While some babies are born with hernias, most hernias occur during adulthood. Men are much more likely to get hernias than women are. In fact they are tends times as likely as their female counterparts to get a hernia.

What are hernia symptoms?

  • Pain or discomfort in the abdomen while in sitting position, standing, lifting, sneezing, coughing or at the end of the day.
  • Constipation or difficulty in urination when a new bulge develops.
  • Feeling pain during an activity that restricts that activity.
  • Feeling pressure or weakness in the groin area

Do I need surgery if I have a hernia?

Your symptoms will determine whether or not surgery is needed. Medical data indicate that patients who have very little discomfort from their hernias have a low rate of complications, making surgery a lot less urgent.


When should I think of having hernia repair surgery?

If your hernia causes pain, keeps you from performing your daily activities, or prevents you from exercising, you should talk to a surgeon about repair options.


What is a sports hernia?

Most surgeons label sports hernias Inguinal Pubalgia or Athletic Pubalgia. While there is a lot of online content about this subject, most hernia surgeons agree that a musculoskeletal injury occurs during physical activity causing the hernia. Most patients who experience pain in the groin or lower abdomen get worse with exercise. Patients often feel discomfort at night and do not appear to have hernia after going through a physical.

Current recommendations include a strict regimen of physical therapy for the injury and core muscle imbalance that caused the injury. If the hernia persists after 6 months of therapy, surgery is recommended, but neither approach is proven better than the other.



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