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Do I Need Hernia Surgery?
Do I Need Hernia Surgery?

Chances are, you or someone you know has experienced a hernia. Hernias are a common condition, and more than one million hernia repairs are performed each year in the U.S. Although a hernia repair is a very common operation, no two people undergoing the procedure are alike. Some people with a hernia may only experience a visible bulge, while others may feel pain.

What is a Hernia?

While there are many types of hernias, they typically present as a hole in the abdominal muscular wall through which abdominal contents (such as fatty tissue or organs) protrude. A hernia develops when the layers of the abdominal wall weaken, bulge, or tear. They can also occur when incisions do not heal properly.

The most common type of hernia is an inguinal hernia, which is developed in the groin. Hernias become more noticeable when we lift heavy objects or strain, but these may not actually be the cause of the hernia. Factors that may exacerbate or accelerate the growth of a hernia include:

● Weight gain, which causes an increase in abdominal wall tension
● Chronic constipation
● Chronic cough or upper respiratory infection
● Straining to urinate, as with an enlarged prostate

When is Hernia Surgery Recommended?

Surgery is the only way to repair a hernia. They do not get better on their own. However, generally a hernia repair is an elective procedure that is recommended if you are experiencing pain or discomfort, or if the hernia is growing larger.

As hernias enlarge, they may become strangulated. This occurs when hernia contents such as intestines become entrapped within the hernia. The swollen bowel can lead to decreased blood flow to the intestine causing the intestine to die. The symptoms are typically not subtle, and may include several of the following:

  • Acute pain that comes on suddenly and may get more severe
  • Bloody stools
  • Constipation
  • Darkening or reddening of the skin over the hernia
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Inability to pass gas
  • Inflammation or tenderness around the hernia
  • Increased heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

If you suspect you have a hernia, it’s important to speak with your doctor, especially if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

Laparoscopic and Robotic Hernia Repair

In general, hernias can be repaired through open, laparoscopic, or robotic procedures. We offer each of these procedures at Austin Surgeons. Open repair involves a traditional incision about the size of the hernia opening. Laparoscopic and robotic hernia surgery are performed through multiple one-quarter to half-inch incisions.

At Austin Surgeons, we are dedicated to providing state-of-the-art surgical care with our time-honored tradition of compassion and respect. Deciding on the right technique for a hernia repair is a multifaceted decision, and our surgeons will carefully consider your preference, health, and the complexity of the hernia. Before your procedure, we will explain the entire process to you and will review information about recovery and the risks of the operation.

For more information about hernias and hernia repairs, visit or call 512-467-7151. Request an appointment online with one of our board-certified general surgeons in Austin, Bastrop or Lockhart here.

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