Overview: What is a hernia?

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A hernia disease  occurs when internal tissues or organs push through the wall holding them. The most common is an abdominal hernia where fatty tissue protrudes through a hole in the stomach wall, causing a bulge under the skin. 

Hernias are defects within the groin or abdominal walls that cause the abdomen’s contents to push out through these defects. Hernias are commonly situated at the groin and umbilicus because these areas in the abdominal wall feature congenital weakness. This may be caused by undue pressure e.g. heavy lifting, or weakness in the stomach wall e.g. from prior surgery.

Hernias also form at the site of an incision from previous surgery. This type of hernia is also known as an incisional hernia. 

Hernias usually present as a protrusion or bulge that comes with a feeling of discomfort around the site, which may increase during physical exertion. Simple 

Hernia protrusions can be reduced and manually pushed back in an outpatient facility.  An urgent assessment is necessary when a hernia causes sudden pain and the protruding tissue can’t be pushed back in. This is usually a sign that the protruding tissue is trapped and tightly pinched in the hole. This is called obstruction and can lead to cutting off blood supply to these tissues (strangulation), which is a very dangerous condition. This procedure increases the risk of damaging the contents of the intestine that are within the hernia. A hernia does not heal by itself as it needs hernia surgery for the repair, an operation consisting of a mesh reinforcement, to strengthen the abdominal wall.

Related Procedures
Robotic surgery

Robotic hernia surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that involves robotic technology to address the defects on the groin or abdominal wall. Treatment is possible for simple and complicated hernia disease via small incisions to reduce the pain after surgery and speed up recovery.

Umbilical repair

This is a process that aims to repair defects next to the umbilicus. A small hernia can be repaired successfully through an open approach without using a mesh. The best method for more significant hernias is minimally invasive robotic surgery with mesh reinforcement.

Reconstructing the abdominal wall

Complex and large incisional hernias may need open hernia surgery as a treatment solution to release the abdominal wall's muscular components to restore functionality.

General Hernia Surgeon

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Hernias are tears or holes in the abdominal or groin wall through which inner tissues protrude. A hernia causes pain and can lead to more complicated strangulation of the intestines. Hernia surgery is done to push back the protruding tissue and repair the hole. The weak point is reinforced with mesh. Hernia surgery can vary in complexity depending on the size and position of the hernia. Hernia surgery is the only long term solution to treating a hernia completely. This is because a hernia will only grow larger if it is left untreated. Even small hernias require prompt surgical attention. 

Dr. Tierney’s surgery clinic offers hernia surgery done using minimally invasive robotic surgery. This is a newer alternative to open surgery. The robotic hernia specialist uses a robotic arm with a camera to perform the surgery. This method comes with several advantages for the patient, including less tissue damage, which translates into faster healing time.

Robotic Hernia Surgeon

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Robotic hernia surgery is a relatively new technique used to treat smaller hernias and rebuild the abdominal wall. 

Laparoscopic surgery requires a  hernia surgeon specialist  to hold the instruments, while robotic surgery features tools operated by a robot and controlled by the  robotic hernia expert. Robotic hernia surgery, like other laparoscopic surgeries, consists of using a laparoscope, small incisions, a small camera, inflating the abdomen, and projection of the inside part of the abdomen to video screens. During  robotic surgery, the top hernia surgeon sits at the console inside the operating room to manipulate the tiny surgical instruments. This procedure is essential for reducing pain after the operation and aids faster recovery by using small incisions. In comparison to open hernia repair, robotic hernia surgery results in less pain post-surgery, fewer complications like infected wounds, shorter hospital stays, reduced recovery times, and faster return to work regular activities.

Before hernia surgery

The steps followed before surgery are:

  • An office visit for surgical consultation where a comprehensive history and physical exam is performed.
  • Completion of clinical tests for work up and staging.
  • Multidisciplinary tumor board review for an expert recommendation regarding treatment strategy.

After hernia surgery

The type of surgical procedure done determines the kind of post-surgery care required.  Post care after a surgical operation involves:

  • A brief admission to the ICU is sometimes required for complex procedures such as a whipple procedure. Recovery then continues in the hospital ward for another three to five days. Procedures performed robotically typically have a faster recovery and can expect discharge from the hospital one or two days earlier than after open procedures.

  • The goals of postoperative care include: monitoring for and intervening on any complications that can occur, awaiting the resumption of normal bowel function, maintaining adequate hydration and nutrition, physical and occupational rehabilitation, and providing adequate pain control. Once these measures are met, the patient will be discharged from the hospital. Post-operative follow-up will be scheduled one week from discharge with Dr. Tierney.

Reasons for Choosing Dr. Tierney for Hernia Surgery
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Reasons for Choosing Dr. Tierney for Hernia Surgery

Dr. Joshua S. Tierney has been practicing General Surgery based on compassion and understanding patents on an individual level. This ensures each patient gets dedicated treatment to address a variety of medical issues and concerns. As a doctor who listens carefully to every patient, Dr. Tierney has been able to specialize in the treatment of different hernia conditions through robotic hernia surgery.