Mount Sinai surgeons are leaders in the treatment of hernias. Collaborating with other specialties, such as plastic surgeons and gastroenterologists, we provide our patients with individualized and comprehensive care from the time of diagnosis through recovery.
A hernia is a weakness or defect in the wall of the abdomen or diaphragm, present at birth or acquired later in life. They grow large over time, as the pressure inside the abdomen pushes on the area of weakness.
Hernias can be diagnosed by your healthcare provider and may involve a physical examination or CT scan. There are many types of hernias, based on factors such as location in the body and cause.
- Femoral hernia: Located in the groin, this type of hernia may be caused by poor wound healing after surgery, heavy lifting, or straining.
- Incisional hernia: This type of hernia is a protrusion of tissue at the site of a healing surgical scar.
- Inguinal hernia: This common hernia occurs in the groin near the opening of the inguinal canal, and it may grow larger over time.
- Paraesophageal hiatal hernia: In this type of hernia, a portion of the stomach protrudes up through the hiatus and next to the esophagus.
- Umbilical hernia: An umbilical hernia is a weakness that forms in the abdominal wall through and around the belly button. Most people with this hernia first notice discomfort or a belly button bulge.
- Ventral hernia: This type of hernia develops when a weak spot in the abdomen enables abdominal tissue or an organ to protrude through a cavity muscle area.
Treatments for Hernias
Surgery for hernias can help eliminate discomfort and prevent complications. At Mount Sinai, our highly experienced surgical team offers the newest techniques for treating all types of hernias, including minimally invasive (laparoscopic) surgical procedures. Our multidisciplinary approach brings various specialists—such as plastic surgeons and gastroenterologists—together to design a customized treatment plan for each of our patients. This combination of surgical expertise and advanced technology allows our patients to achieve the safest and most durable repair with the least discomfort and fastest recovery.
Our skill in treating all types of hernias has advanced over the years, as treatment options have progressed from traditional incisional surgery, to the use of minimally invasive techniques and robotic surgery..
- Traditional repair: In a traditional repair, surgical mesh is often used to reinforce the hernia repair site providing long-term reinforcement.
- Laparoscopic hernia repair: In laparoscopic hernia repair procedures—such as laparoscopic inguinal hernia repairs or laparoscopic repairs for ventral and incisional hernias—patients receive general anesthesia and are completely asleep for the surgery. This procedure is less invasive, using only small incisions to insert the laparoscope. Patients are usually able to leave a few hours after surgery.
- Robotic repair: In some cases your surgeon may be able to use a surgical robot to repair a hernia, using small incisions similar to a laparoscopic surgery.
At Mount Sinai, we take the time to perform a thorough diagnosis and listen to your concerns and preferences in order to choose the best treatment plan for you.