“I’m going to get a hernia!  This thing is so heavy!  Why am I trying to lift this?  UGH!”  You may have uttered similar words yourself or heard someone else muttering to themselves.  We seem to have a general understanding that we can get a hernia from lifting something too heavy or lifting it improperly.  But, did you know that there are multiple types of hernias?


A ventral hernia consists of a bulge of tissue through an opening of weakness within your abdominal wall muscles.  They often occur at the site of past healed surgical incisions and because of this, they are sometimes referred to as incisional hernias.  While there are multiple things that can cause a ventral hernia, most are out of your control, such as being born with an abnormally thin abdominal wall, a family history of hernias, or a history of abdominal surgeries.  They can also result from pregnancy, obesity, or you guessed it…lifting and moving heavy objects!


An inguinal hernia is similar to a ventral hernia.  In the case of an inguinal hernia, tissue, such as part of the intestine, protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles.  With an inguinal hernia, you may actually see a bulge on either side of your pubic bone.  They can be painful resulting in burning, aching, discomfort, or a “heavy” feeling in your groin.


A hiatal hernia is quite different from the above two types of hernias.  It actually occurs in the chest as part of the stomach bulges through the muscle separating your abdomen and chest.  A small hiatal hernia may actually go unnoticed.  A larger one can cause problems with eating and acid reflux.  It can be referred to as a sliding hiatal hernia.


A paraesophageal hernia is essentially a second type of hiatal hernia in which the gastroesophageal junction stays in place instead of sliding as in the above-mentioned hernia.  The part of the stomach that passes into the chest does so beside the esophagus, hence, the name.  These are definitely less common.  They can cause problems with eating if they are large.  Those problems can lead to ulcers.


Many hernias can be treated with simple remedies upon seeing your physician.  However, there are times when a hernia is causing other problems, recurs after being treated, or causes too much discomfort and pain.  When any of these situations arise, it is important to see your physician.  If your doctor feels that surgery is the answer to your hernia problems, then it is time to call Advanced Surgical and Weight Loss Institute.  Dr. Diego Velarde specializes in minimally invasive surgeries, using the robotic da Vinci surgical system.  He can perform your hernia surgery laparoscopically leaving a minimum scar which will help prevent future hernias from forming on the site.  Dr. Velarde proudly serves the communities of Melbourne, FL and Merritt Island, along with surrounding areas.  If your doctor has suggested hernia surgery, please don’t hesitate – call Advanced Surgical and Weight Loss Institute today.