Hernia Specialist
At Central California Surgery, the team of doctors are accomplished in both general and bariatric surgery. They have had extensive experience in treating hernias, a relatively common complication of the stomach and intestine. If you are experiencing symptoms of a hernia, contact their practices in Modesto and Stockton, California, to receive proper treatment immediately.

Hernia Q & A

What is a hernia?

A hernia is the result of an organ or fatty tissue squeezing through a weak spot in a surrounding muscle or connective tissue (i.e., fascia). There are several areas of the body that a hernia can occur, leading to many different types. Some of the most common are:

  • Inguinal hernia: Occurs at the inner groin and more commonly affects men
  • Incisional hernia: Results from an incision and commonly occurs in elderly or overweight patients who are inactive after abdominal surgery
  • Femoral hernia: Occurs at the outer groin and are common in women, in particular in obese and pregnant women
  • Umbilical hernia: Refers to a hernia of the belly button that are common in newborn babies, obese women, or women who have had many children
  • Hiatal hernia: Occurs at the upper stomach as it squeezes through the hiatus

What causes hernias?

All hernias are ultimately caused by pressure on an opening or weakness of a muscle or fascia. The pressure pushes against the organ or tissue, or through the opening or weak spot. Any activity that increases pressure on the abdomen can induce a hernia, such as:

  • Lifting heavy objects without stabilizing the abdominal muscles
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Persistent coughing or sneezing

Other non-pressure related risks of weakened muscles include smoking, obesity, and poor nutrition.

How do I know if I have a hernia?

If you have a hernia, you will experience and notice certain symptoms. The most common sign will be a lump or bulge in the affected area. Symptoms of an inguinal hernia include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the affected area: Especially when bending over, coughing, or lifting
  • Weakness, pressure, or a heavy feeling in the abdomen
  • Burning, aching, or gurgling at the site of the bulge or lump

Symptoms of a hiatal hernia include:

  • Acid reflux
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing

See your doctor immediately if you’re experiencing these symptoms.

What are treatment options for a hernia?

As the severity of hernias vary, so do treatment options. Your doctor’s assessment for treatment methods will include:

  • Lifestyle changes: Mainly dietary changes
  • Medication
  • Surgery in severe cases: Or if all other methods have been unsuccessful
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