Published on June 24, 2019

Hernia Awareness Month

PELLA, Iowa— National Hernia Awareness Month raises the public knowledge of the warning signs and treatment options available regarding hernias. It is estimated that more than 5 million people have some type of hernia, but only 750,000 people per year actually seek treatment. Concerns about and pain associated with hernias can prevent people from engaging in activities that they normally love to do, and ignoring symptoms can sometimes lead to life-threatening complications. Although the treatment for a hernia usually requires surgery, minimally invasive techniques allow for a shorter recovery time and decreased recurrence rates. 

A hernia occurs when there is a weakness in the wall of the area it occurs. There are different types of hernias that can occur within the body. Hernias are often caused by heavy lifting, prior hernia or abdominal surgery, pregnancy, chronic cough, and bowel injury.

Common symptoms of hernias:

  • Pain in the affected area, especially when bending over, coughing, or lifting.
  • Burning, gurgling or aching in the area of the hernia bulge.
  • Weakness, pressure or a feeling of heaviness in the abdomen.

“In most cases a physical exam is needed and the physician can feel the hernia and make a diagnosis,” said Matt Morgan, DO, general surgeon at Pella Regional. “With larger hernias, and hernias associated with the abdomen, we do a CT scan to get a better look at the hernia and that will help us decide the best surgical approach.” 

Pella Regional offers a full spectrum of hernia repairs based on the size and location of the hernia. “We can treat hernias with open repairs or minimally invasive repairs using the robot,” said Morgan. “For very small hernias, many times a simple open repair is best. For larger hernias involving the abdomen, and for most inguinal or groin hernias, we use the robot making small incisions which causes less pain and leads to a quicker recovery.” 

If you have concerns or questions on hernias, call Pella Regional Surgical Partners at 641-628-6772 for information.