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Most Common Types of Hernias
Accounting for approximately 70% of hernias, inguinal hernias occur in the lower abdomen near the groin area. Men are more likely to experience this type of hernia due to a natural weakness in these muscles.
This type of hernia affects the diaphragm, the muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity. Hiatal hernias can cause heartburn and are more complicated to repair than other hernia types.
These typically occur in the abdominal area where a previous surgery has been performed. The section of muscle surrounding the area where an incision has healed tends to be weaker than normal muscle tissue.
Most commonly occurring in infants, these hernias affect the area around the bellybutton. This is the only type of hernia that may resolve itself, but if it doesn't, it may require surgery to be repaired.
Femoral hernias affect the groin area and are much more common in women than men. These occur just below the crease between the leg and the abdomen and are often the result of pregnancy and childbirth.
Epigastric hernias appear when fat pushes through the muscle anywhere between the breastbone and bellybutton. Most of these hernias are small and cause few symptoms, but may cause pain or burning.
Inguinal Hernia Repair
Learn about inguinal hernia repair with da Vinci and understand your options
Get back to what matters most
If you’ve been diagnosed with an inguinal (or groin) hernia and your doctor recommends surgical repair, you’re not alone. About 800,000 inguinal hernia repairs are performed in the United States each year.1
An inguinal hernia happens when tissue, most often part of the intestine, bulges through a weak area of abdominal muscle in the groin area. Inguinal hernias make up about 75 percent of all hernias and are most common in men.2
Understanding your options
Doctors sometimes recommend watchful waiting if the hernia is small and there are few or no symptoms, but surgery is the only way doctors can repair an inguinal hernia.3 In all surgery types, the surgeon repairs the weakness in abdominal wall and, in most cases, reinforces it with some type of surgical mesh to prevent the hernia from recurring.4
Surgeons can repair inguinal hernias with traditional open surgery, which requires a large incision in your abdomen, or a minimally invasive approach. In traditional open surgery, the surgeon looks directly at the surgical area through the incision and repairs the hernia using hand-held tools.
There are two minimally invasive approaches: laparoscopic surgery and robotic-assisted surgery, possibly with da Vinci® technology. Surgeons perform minimally invasive laparoscopic or robotic-assisted surgeries through a few small incisions. To perform a laparoscopic hernia repair, surgeons use special long-handled tools while viewing magnified images from the laparoscope (camera) on a video screen.
How da Vinci works
Surgeons can perform inguinal hernia repair using da Vinci technology. With da Vinci, your surgeon sits at a console next to you and operates using tiny instruments through a few small incisions.
A camera provides a high-definition, 3D magnified view inside your body. Every hand movement your surgeon makes is translated by the da Vinci system in real time to bend and rotate the instruments with precision.
It’s important to remember that Intuitive does not provide medical advice. After discussing all options with your doctor, only you and your doctor can determine whether surgery with da Vinci is appropriate for your situation. You should always ask your surgeon about his or her training, experience, and patient outcomes.
Why surgery with da Vinci?
A review of published studies suggests potential benefits of an inguinal hernia repair with da Vinci technology include:
- Patients who had an inguinal hernia repair with da Vinci had a lower rate of complications after surgery from the time they left the hospital through 30 days after surgery compared with patients who had an open procedure.5
- Although fewer than 1 in 10 inguinal hernia repairs requires an admission to the hospital, called an inpatient stay, patients who had an inguinal hernia repair with da Vinci technology stayed in the hospital as an inpatient for a shorter amount of time than patients with similar characteristics who had an open procedure.5
All surgery involves risk. You can read more about associated risks of inguinal hernia repair here.
Questions you can ask your doctor
- What medical options are available for my hernia?
- What happens if I don’t get surgery?
- What is the difference between open, laparoscopic, and robotic-assisted surgery?
- Can you tell me about your training, experience, and patient outcomes with da Vinci?
How will I feel after surgery?
Resources for learning more
Hernia repair brochure
Take away infromation about hernia repair with da Vinci technology in our brochure designed for patients and their families.
General surgery with da Vinci
Robotic-assisted surgery with da Vinci technology is used in many different types of procedures by general surgeons.
- Rutkow, I.M. (2003). Demographic and Socieconomic Aspects of Hernia Repair in the United States in 2003. Surgical Clinics of North America; 83(5):1045-51, v-vi.
- Groin Hernia Repair, American College of Surgeons, Web, 10 January 2019 https://www.facs.org/~/media/files/education/patient%20ed/groin_hernia.ashx
- Inguinal Hernia, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Health. Web. 10 January 2019. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/inguinal-hernia
- Hernia Surgical Mesh Implants. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Web. 10 January 2019. https://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/ImplantsandProsthetics/HerniaSurgicalMesh/default.htm
- Supporting data includes data from a retrospective, multi-center, non-randomized controlled clinical study evaluating the use of the da Vinci Surgical System in Inguinal Hernia Repair procedures compared with open surgical procedures.
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Important Safety Information
Patients should talk to their doctors to decide if da Vinci® surgery is right for them. Patients and doctors should review all available information on nonsurgical and surgical options and associated risks in order to make an informed decision.
Serious complications may occur in any surgery, including da Vinci surgery, up to and including death. Serious risks include, but are not limited to, injury to tissues and organs and conversion to other surgical techniques, which could result in a longer operative time and/or increased complications. For Important Safety Information, including surgical risks, indications, and considerations and contraindications for use, please also refer to www.intuitive.com/safety.
Individuals' outcomes may depend on a number of factors, including but not limited to patient characteristics, disease characteristics, and/or surgeon experience.
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©2019 Intuitive Surgical, Inc. All rights reserved. Product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders. The information on this website is intended for a United States audience only.
This website does not provide medical advice. If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
The materials on this website are for general educational information only. Information you read on this website cannot replace the relationship that you have with your healthcare professional. Intuitive Surgical does not practice medicine or provide medical services or advice and the information on this website should not be considered medical advice. You should always talk to your healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment. Health information changes quickly. Therefore, it is always best to consult with your healthcare provider.
If you have questions about the da Vinci® Surgical System or about surgical procedures conducted with the da Vinci Surgical System, consult a surgeon that has experience with the da Vinci Surgical System. A list of surgeons that have experience with the da Vinci Surgical System can be found in the Surgeon Locator.