Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
In this Article
- Abdominal hernia facts
- What is an abdominal hernia?
- Where are abdominal hernias located?
- What are abdominal hernia symptoms and signs?
- What are the different types of abdominal hernias?
- How is an abdominal hernia repaired and treated?
- What is laparoscopic abdominal hernia repair surgery?
- What about the use of a laser in abdominal hernia repair?
- What kind of anesthesia is used for abdominal hernia surgery?
- Can strengthening the muscles make an abdominal hernia go away?
- What can be done to prevent an abdominal hernia?
- Are abdominal hernias inherited?
- Do abdominal hernias usually develop on both sides of the body?
- Should all abdominal hernias be repaired?
- How can a person determine if a lump or swelling is an abdominal hernia?
Should all abdominal hernias be repaired?
In general, hernias that are at risk for complications, that cause pain, or that limit activity should be repaired. If they are not repaired, there is a risk that an emergency surgical procedure may be required at a later date.
Sometimes, a hernia can be temporarily controlled by wearing a belt-like device that applies external compression, which pushes the tissues back into the abdomen and holds them there. This device is called a truss. The truss must be carefully applied on a daily basis. It should only be used for selected situations following careful evaluation by a doctor.
How can a person determine if a lump or swelling is an abdominal hernia?
Not all lumps or swellings on the abdominal wall or in the groin are hernias. People should have such lumps or swellings examined by a doctor. Other possible causes include benign or malignant tumors or enlarged lymph nodes. These problems require entirely different types of evaluation and treatments; self-diagnosis may be incorrect and delay needed treatments.
Medically reviewed by Martin E Zipser, MD; American board of Surgery
Erickson, Kimberly McCrudden, et al. "Abdominal Hernias." Medscape.com. 19 Sept. 2011. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/189563-overview#aw2aab6b2b1aa>.
Khan, Ali Nawaz, et al. "Hiatal Hernia Imaging." Medscape.com. 25 May 2011. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/369510-overview>.
Stylopoulos, Nicolas, and David W. Rattner. "The History of Hiatal Hernia Surgery: From Bowditch to Laparoscopy." Annals of Surgery 241.1 (2005): 185-193.
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