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UPMC Comprehensive Hernia Center

Our team of skilled surgeons from the UPMC Comprehensive Hernia Center perform a variety of hernia repair procedures. From open, laparoscopic, and robotic techniques – our providers have the surgical treatment option that is right for you.

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For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the UPMC Comprehensive Hernia Center at 717-988-0044. 

What is a hernia?

A hernia is a bulge caused by tissue pushing through the wall of muscle that's holding it in. Most hernias are abdominal hernias. This means they happen in the belly and groin areas.

You may have a hernia if you can feel a soft lump in your belly or groin or in a scar where you had surgery in the past. The lump may go away when you press on it or lie down. It may be painful, especially when you cough, bend over, or lift something heavy.

Types of hernias include:

  • Epigastric Hernia. This type of hernia occurs when fat pushes through a weak part of the belly wall. It occurs in the middle of the belly between the breastbone and the belly button, or navel. Most of the time, these hernias are small. You can have more than one at a time.
  • Hiatal Hernia. This type of hernia is different from other types of hernias, because it involves the stomach instead of the intestine. It occurs when part of your stomach bulges up through your diaphragm and into your chest. The diaphragm is a sheet of muscle that separates your belly from your chest. You can't feel a hiatal hernia or see a bulge.
  • Inguinal Hernia. This type of hernia occurs in the groin when tissue pushes through a weak spot in the groin muscle.
  • Obturator/Femoral Hernia. This type of hernia occurs when tissue bulges from the lower belly into the upper thigh, just below the groin crease. Femoral hernias occur more often in women than in men.
  • Spigelian Hernia. A spigelian hernia in the abdomen in the layer of tissue that separates the two groups of abdominal muscles. 
  • Umbilical Hernia. This type of hernia occurs when intestine, fat, or fluid pushes through a weak spot in the belly. This causes a bulge near the belly button, or navel.
  • Ventral/Incisional Hernia. An incisional hernia occurs in the middle of the abdomen and can often occur after surgery in the belly. It can happen months or even years after surgery. Most of the time, it occurs along a vertical (up and down) incision. 

Repairing a Hernia

Our surgeons have a number of techniques to repair your hernia. These techniques can provide you with a number of benefits, including:

  • Adequate repair with low recurrence rate.
  • Minimal postoperative pain and discomfort.
  • Quick return to normal activities.
  • Fewer postoperative complications. 

Our hernia repair techniques include:

  • Open repair
  • Laparoscopic repair
  • Robotic repair 

Hernia repair techniques are chosen to meet your individual needs. Your surgeon will work with you to determine the best procedure for you. 

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