Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center surgeons are leaders in the treatment of hernias, providing patients with individualized and comprehensive care from the time of diagnosis through recovery. Learn more about the common types of hernia we diagnose, the different treatment options for a hernia, as well as about our surgical robot technology for hernia repair.
A hernia is a weakness or defect in the wall of the abdomen or diaphragm, present at birth or acquired later in life. They grow large over time, as the pressure inside the abdomen pushes on the area of weakness.
Hernias can be diagnosed by your healthcare provider and may involve a physical examination or CT scan. There are many types of hernias, based on factors such as location in the body and cause.
- Umbilical hernia: An umbilical hernia is a weakness that forms in the abdominal wall through and around the belly button. Most people with this hernia first notice discomfort or a belly button bulge.
- Inguinal hernia: This common hernia occurs in the groin near the opening of the inguinal canal, and it may grow larger over time.
- Incisional hernia: This type of hernia is a protrusion of tissue at the site of a healing surgical scar.
- Paraesophageal hiatal hernia: In this type of hernia, a portion of the stomach protrudes up through the hiatus and next to the esophagus.
- Ventral hernia: This type of hernia develops when a weak spot in the abdomen enables abdominal tissue or an organ to protrude through a cavity muscle area.
- Femoral hernia: Located in the groin, this type of hernia may be caused by poor wound healing after surgery, heavy lifting, or straining.
Treatments for Hernias
Surgery for hernias can help eliminate discomfort and prevent complications. At Northern Light Surgery, our highly experienced surgical team offers the newest techniques for treating all types of hernias, including minimally invasive (laparoscopic) and robotic surgical procedures. This combination of surgical expertise and advanced technology allows our patients to achieve the most durable repair with the least discomfort and fastest recovery.
Our skill in treating all types of hernias has advanced over the years, as treatment options have progressed from traditional incisional surgery, to the use of minimally invasive techniques and robotics.
- Traditional repair: In a traditional repair, surgical mesh is often used to reinforce the hernia repair site providing long-term reinforcement.
- Laparoscopic hernia repair: In laparoscopic hernia repair procedures—such as laparoscopic inguinal hernia repairs or laparoscopic repairs for ventral and incisional hernias—patients receive general anesthesia and are completely asleep for the surgery. This procedure is less invasive, using only small incisions to insert the laparoscope. Patients are usually able to leave a few hours after surgery.
- Robotic repair: In some cases your surgeon may be able to use a surgical robot to repair a hernia, using small incisions similar to a laparoscopic surgery.
At Northern Light Surgical Specialists, we take the time to perform a thorough diagnosis and listen to your concerns and preferences in order to choose the best treatment plan for you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 207.973.8881.
Our Surgical Robot Technology for Hernia Repair
Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center recently expanded our robotic offerings by upgrading our fleet of surgical robots to include the most recent technology, the DaVinci Xi. In addition, we are the only hospital in Maine leading the way with four surgical robots, offering easy access, close to home, for our patients. This makes Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center home to the largest surgical robot program in the State of Maine.
Physicians and providers are welcome to join us for an information session about Complex Hernia Repair on Thursday, July 28 at 12 pm.
If you missed our Hernia Information Session on May 19, 2022, please watch the video here!