Mr John Keating - Wellington General & Colorectal Surgeon
A hernia exists where part of the abdominal wall is weakened, and the contents of the abdomen push through to the outside.
An inguinal hernia forms when part of the intestine pushes through the abdominal wall, causing a bulge in the groin.
A hiatus hernia is caused by part of the stomach and lower oesophagus bulging through the diaphragm (a sheet of muscle between the chest and the stomach) into the chest. A hiatus hernia can cause a burning feeling in the upper abdomen and chest (heartburn).
Surgical treatment is usually quite straightforward and involves returning the abdominal contents to the inside and then reinforcing the abdominal wall in some way.
The great majority of inguinal and femoral hernias are now repaired with a laparoscopic technique.
Some incisional hernias are suitable for repair with a laparoscopic technique. Larger incisional hernias may be repaired with a component separation technique and usually involve the placement of synthetic mesh.