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About Hernias

We want you to return to health as soon as possible.

We understand that being diagnosed with a hernia can be scary and stressful. You probably have a lot of questions and some anxiety. This guide is designed to help you understand hernias, common terms used with hernias, how hernias are diagnosed, what hernia surgery is appropriate and what to expect with surgery. Your surgeon will go into more detail regarding your specific situation. Our goal at The PATCH Institute is to arm you with information, provide you with the best experience, and give you the best results.

What is a Hernia?

A hernia occurs when the inside layers of the abdominal wall have weakened, resulting in a bulge or tear. In the same way that an inner tube pushes through a damaged tire, the inner lining of the abdomen pushes through the weakened area of the abdominal wall to form a small balloon-like sac.

The weakness may be present at birth, can be caused by wear and tear of daily living, or by surgeries.

Men, women and children of all ages can get a hernia.

A hernia does not get better over time, nor will it go away by itself.

What causes a hernia?

The wall of the abdomen has natural areas of potential weakness. Hernias can develop at these areas.

Anyone can develop a hernia at any age.

Surgeries that require cutting through the abdominal wall can also create weaknesses and hernias.

How do I know if I have a hernia?

The common areas where hernias occur are in the groin (inguinal), belly button (umbilical), and the site of a previous operation (incisional).

You may notice a bulge under the skin.

You may feel pain when you cough, lift heavy objects, strain during bowel movements or urination, or during prolonged standing or sitting.

Some hernias do not cause pain or a bulge, and may be discovered during CT or MRI, or during routine physical exam.

Do I need to have my hernias fixed?

You should always have a hernia evaluated by a doctor. The doctor will help you determine if surgery is necessary and if surgery is safe in your situation.

You should have surgery if the hernia is enlarging rapidly, causing pain or limiting the activities you do normally.

You should have it fixed, if you’ve had an intestinal blockage due to a hernia.

Hernias that aren’t causing pain, intestinal blockage and aren’t enlarging can sometimes be observed. Consult your doctor.

How are hernias fixed?

A hernia repair usually involves two steps:

  1. Closing the hole or weakened area
  2. Applying mesh to reinforce the repair

Repairs can be accomplished with open, laparoscopic, robotic or a combination of techniques. Each technique has its pros and cons. Usually repairs using small incisions, such as laparoscopic or robotic, lead to faster recovery and less complications.

Larger or recurrent hernias can be very complex and require a hernia specialist to obtain the best results. The hernia specialist will have more knowledge, tools, techniques and skills to tailor the best operation to your situation.

Dr. Rockson Liu is One of the Best General and Hernia Surgeons in the United States

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“Dr. Rockson Liu performed colon surgery on me. I had full confidence in his skills and was very pleased with his performance. He explained thoroughly about using the robot in surgery as I was hesitant about its use. His bedisde manner is extraordinary and the way he cares for his patients is outstanding. He came to visit me on his day off in the hospital after surgery, as I was recovering. I was very pleased that I got such a skilled surgeon who is also a wonderful person.”

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Meet Dr. Rockson Liu, MD, FACS

The leading minimally-invasive, robotics-assisted general surgeon in the country

With 1000+ minimally-invasive, robotics-assisted surgeries completed, and a 100% success rate in ending recurrent hernias other surgeons were unable to solve, Dr. Liu has made a name for himself as the premier minimally-invasive general surgeon in the United States. 

Dr. Liu approaches every surgery with technical mastery and creative problem-solving. Those two skills allow for a faster recovery, minimal pain, and reduced scarring. 

About Dr. Liu

The leading minimally-invasive general and hernia repair surgeon on the West Coast, serving patients in the greater SF Bay Area. 

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Office Information

(510) 465-5523

Oakland Office:
365 Hawthorne Ave. Ste 101
Oakland, CA 94609

Berkeley Office:
3010 Colby St. Ste 118
Berkeley, CA 94705


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