The Hernia Center at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital

The Hernia Center at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital specializes in the repair of all types of hernias; groin, abdominal, umbilical and incisional. As a part of the Virginia Institute of Robotic Surgery, our board-certified surgeons are proud to provide our patients with the most advanced, minimally invasive surgical techniques available, including the da Vinci® Robotic Surgery System, providing our patients with better results, less pain, and quicker recovery time.

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Surgical Services & Techniques

The Hernia Center at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital offers comprehensive care for all of our patients, including a thorough evaluation to determine the type of hernia procedure that will be the most effective for each patient. Our center provides both robotic and advanced laparoscopic and minimally-invasive technologies for a wide range of surgical procedures and hernia repairs, tailored to the individual. 

What is a Hernia?

A hernia is a hole or defect in the abdominal muscle wall which allows internal tissue to protrude, usually creating a visible bulge. This hole can occur anywhere the muscle wall is weak or subject to strain, such as around the umbilicus and groin area, and also where there is scar tissue from previous surgery. A hernia may or may not cause pain. Depending on the size and location of the hernia, however, there is a risk of complications including having intestinal tissue trapped in the hernia. And hernias do not go away on their own; surgery is the only treatment.

Common Types of Hernias

  • Inguinal hernia, the most common type of hernia, occurs in the groin area
  • Ventral hernias are less common than inguinal hernias, occurring outside the inguinal area of the abdomen in the epigastrium
  • Incisional (surgical) hernia occurs near scar tissue from a previous abdominal surgery
  • Hiatal hernias occur in the diaphragm, the large muscle separating the chest cavity and the abdomen
  • Femoral hernia occurs in the low groin and is more common in women
  • Umbilical hernia occurs through the belly button
  • Epigastic hernia is a small but painful bulge midway between the umbilicus and chest

Hernia Repair and Treatment Options

For large and complicated hernias, or those patients with recurrent hernias that result in excessive scar tissue and mesh material, advanced techniques are used to rebuild the musculature of the abdominal wall, often with the aid of biological prosthetics.

Various techniques are used, including open repair and laparoscopic repairs, with and without mesh. Laparoscopic surgery, when appropriate, is usually less painful, decreases the risk of infection and results in faster healing with smaller incisions.

Often this is performed using an open approach and prosthetic mesh in order to improve the contour of the abdominal wall. In some cases, laparoscopic surgery may be performed, although not everyone is a good candidate for this small-incision approach. Our goal is to use the latest surgical approaches for the most effective repair possible, while reducing the risk of hernia recurrence.

Key Facts About Hernias

  • 10% of people develop some type of hernia during their lifetime.
  • Hernias are seven times more common in males than in females.
  • Over 1 million abdominal wall hernia repairs are performed each year, with inguinal hernia repairs constituting nearly 770,000 of these cases.
  • Approximately 25% of males and 2% of females have inguinal hernias in their lifetimes; this is the most common hernia in males and females.
  • Approximately 75% of all hernias occur in the groin; two thirds of these hernias are indirect and one third direct.
  • Indirect inguinal hernias are the most common hernias in both men and women; a right-sided predominance exists.
  • Incisional and ventral hernias account for 10% of all hernias.
  • Only 3% of hernias are femoral hernias.
    * Source: HCA’s Palms of Pasadena Hospital

For more information on The Hernia Center at Henrico Doctors’ Hospitals call 804-320-DOCS (3627).