Common Types of Hernias

Inguinal

Another name for groin hernias.  It's the 2nd most common type of hernia.  It is 10x more common in men.  These hernias can be divided into direct or indirect.


Umbilical

The most common type of hernias.  Everyone has a small opening in the belly button left by the umbilical cord.  This opening can enlarge, resulting in a hernia.  The  hernia needs to be repaired when it is enlarging or causing symptoms like pain or intestinal blockage.


Incisional

This type of hernia develops where a surgeon has previously cut through the abdominal wall.  These hernias come in all sizes and complexity.  Many can be difficult to repair, and require a robotic hernia specialist to achieve a durable repair.  The PATCH Institute is one of the only centers in the Bay Area with extensive experience in robotic repairs.

Hiatal

This type of hernia occurs when the stomach slips through the diaphragm hiatus into the chest.  Frequently patients have heartburn, chest pain or trouble swallowing.  There are 4 types of hiatal hernias.  Repairs are usually done through the abdomen and involve pulling the stomach into the abdomen, tightening the diaphragm hiatus and performing an fundoplication (wrap).

Additional Hernia Types

Paraesophageal

This is a type of hiatal hernia, but frequently is used by surgeons to refer to very large hiatal hernia where more than 1/3 of the stomach is in the chest.

Epigastric

A hernia that occurs in the linea alba in the upper midline of the abdomen.  These usually are small and feel like small lumps under the skin.

Diaphragmatic

The diaphragm is a muscle and can develop hernias. Hiatal & paraesophageal hernias are the most common.  Less common types include Morgagni or Bochdalek.

Spigelian

Occurs in either lower quadrant of the abdomen, above the groin, where the posterior connective tissue layer thins.

Parastomal

A hernia that forms around a stoma (colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy).  More than 50% of patients with stomas will eventually develop a parastomal hernia.  These should be fixed when the hernia affects the function of the stoma, or causes pain or blockage. 

Ventral

This is a term that applies to all hernias in the front of the abdomen.  Usually they refer to larger umbilical hernias.

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