Types of Hernias

What are some common forms of hernias?

Umbilical Hernia (belly button hernia or “outie”)

Everyone is attached to mom at birth by the umbilical cord. After the cord is cut the hole closes shut (scars shut) on its own. Unfortunately, scar tissue is not nearly as strong as normal muscle or the tough tissue that surrounds muscle (fascia) and is prone to weaken over time after repeated episodes of stressing and straining. Both men and women are subject to belly button hernias. Women tend to notice them more during or just after pregnancy because of the tremendous forces and changes that occur during pregnancy.

Ventral Hernia (Incisional hernia)

Incisional hernias form at the site of a prior surgical cut. They form because all cuts in the body heal with scar tissue which is always much weaker than the tissues we are born with. The most common cut on the abdomen is straight up and down,  in the middle, between the six pack muscles.  Hernias may occur in any surgical wound on the abdominal wall, in fact, it is estimated that as many as 30% of patients who undergo abdominal surgery may evenutally develop an incisional hernia.

Inguinal Hernia (groin hernia)

The junction of the lower abdominal wall muscles and the pelvis is thinner than the rest of the belly. This is especially true for men because the testicles start out inside the belly and later descend into the scrotum just before being born. The muscles have to open up to allow the testicles to pass and then close behind once they have completed their descent. Unfortunately, this process is not always perfect and the closure is incomplete. The problem is further worsened because the muscles cannot ever completely close due to the fact the the spermatic cord is in the way. Groin hernias can occur in both women and men but are far more frequent in men due to the issue with testicular descent.