A hernia may occur whenever the muscles of the abdomen develop a weak spot or tear. These muscles normally hold the organs and surrounding tissues in place. An organ such as the intestine can push the abdominal lining though the weakness and form a balloon-like-sac.
This sac can usually be seen as a bulge under the skin when the patient is standing up. The sac is often detected when it is about the size of a small marble.
A hernia can be aggravated by the strain of a chronic cough, constipation or heavy lifting and often causes significant pain. A hernia usually gets worse with time.
The doctor uses the laparoscopic (or ‘key-hole’) technique for hernia repair where possible, otherwise open surgery is performed when deemed appropriate.
A general anaesthetic is used for the hernia repairs and a mesh may be inserted to add support. This can be discussed at the time of consultation.