Approximately 27% of men and 3% of women will experience an inguinal hernia at some point in their lives. Hernias are more common than you might think, and if left untreated, they can lead to complications and discomfort. The good news is that a hernia can usually be treated if caught early.

If you have a hernia, you may not know right away, and in some cases, you may have pain and other symptoms right away.  At Orlando Minimally Invasive Surgery, we help patients with hernia treatment and address these concerns. Read on to learn about hernia treatment, different types of hernias, symptoms to look out for, and the importance of timely treatment.

What is a Hernia?

A hernia is the protrusion of an organ through a muscle or structure that usually contains it. Most commonly, this occurs in the abdominal wall, where a weakened spot allows a portion of the intestine to push through. 

The most frequent abdominal wall hernia is an inguinal hernia. These hernias can be concerning, but they can often be effectively managed with timely intervention.

What Are the Different Types of Hernias?

Hernias come in various forms, each with its unique characteristics and demographics. Some of the most common types include:

  • Inguinal Hernias: These develop in the inner groin area when fat or intestine pushes through inguinal canals in the lower abdominal wall. It’s estimated that nearly a quarter of men and a small percentage of women will experience an inguinal hernia during their lifetime.
  • Femoral Hernias: Less common and predominantly affecting women, femoral hernias occur in the upper thigh or outer groin region within more profound passages called femoral canals. Their less frequent occurrence highlights the importance of timely diagnosis and treatment.
  • Ventral Hernias: Ventral hernias manifest through openings in the abdominal muscles and can take different forms. These include epigastric hernias, incisional hernias (resulting from prior abdominal surgeries), and umbilical hernias.
  • Hiatal Hernias: A unique type of hernia, hiatal hernias involve the upper part of the stomach bulging into the chest through a diaphragmatic opening called the hiatus. While they don’t cause a visible bulge, hiatal hernias can lead to symptoms like heartburn and acid reflux.

What are the Symptoms of a Hernia?

A common symptom of most hernias is a noticeable lump or bulge accompanied by potential discomfort or pain. The lump or swelling may only sometimes be present and can change with posture. Symptoms may worsen when standing, straining, or lifting heavy objects. A doctor can diagnose most hernias through a physical exam, though imaging studies may sometimes be necessary.

Hiatal hernias are an exception to this rule, as they don’t produce a bulge. Instead, they may lead to symptoms such as heartburn, acid reflux, and food or liquid regurgitation, typically managed with medication.

How Can Hernias Be Managed and Treated?

If you have a small or mild hernia that only occasionally protrudes, your healthcare provider may adopt a watch-and-wait approach to monitor its progression. However, knowing that hernias often grow larger is essential, making surgical repair a recommended course of action.

Hernia Treatment and Procedures

Hernias are primarily treated through surgical procedures, including minimally invasive options. Here are some ways that our Orlando surgeons treat hernias: 


Hernia repair surgery is the most effective treatment. It involves pushing the herniated tissue back into place and reinforcing the weakened area. There are two main surgical approaches: open and minimally invasive. 

  • Open Surgery: is suitable for larger hernias because it involves a single, larger incision.
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery: This includes laparoscopic and robotic-assisted procedures, which use small incisions for quicker recovery and less postoperative pain.

Laparoscopic Repair

This minimally invasive technique uses a camera and special instruments to repair the hernia. 

Robotic-Assisted Repair

Similar to laparoscopy but with greater precision, this type of repair uses robotic arms controlled by a surgeon.

Hernia Mesh

Surgical mesh often strengthens the weakened area and reduces the risk of recurrence.

Specialized Techniques

Certain hernias may require tailored approaches, like incisional or pediatric hernia repairs.

The choice of procedure depends on the hernia type and individual circumstances. Consult with a healthcare provider for an accurate evaluation and to determine the most suitable treatment for your condition.

What Happens If a Hernia Goes Untreated?

Neglecting a hernia can lead to severe consequences. Hernias grow larger over time, making them more susceptible to complications. If left untreated, a hernia can become incarcerated, causing the protruding organ or tissue to become trapped and leading to pain and discomfort.

In the most severe cases, hernias can strangulate, cutting off blood supply to the trapped tissue and causing tissue damage and severe pain. Strangulated hernias are medical emergencies that need immediate surgery. Untreated hernias can cause ongoing pain, discomfort, and a reduced quality of life. To avoid these complications, it is important to seek timely medical attention and discuss treatment options with a healthcare provider if you suspect you have a hernia or experience hernia-related symptoms.

Understanding hernias, their types, symptoms, and treatment options helps to manage these common medical conditions. Suppose you or a loved one have more questions or require treatment for a hernia.

In that case, our team of experienced surgeons is dedicated to providing advanced, patient-centered care, focusing on minimally invasive techniques that promote comfort and faster recovery. Don’t wait; take the first step toward hernia management and schedule your appointment today.