Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a hernia?
A hernia is an abnormal opening in the "strength layer" (fascia) of abdominal wall or an enlargement of a normal anatomical opening or hole elsewhere in the body.
2. How does a hernia present?
Most hernias present as a bulge or protrusion that often can be soft and can be pushed in with some pressure. Hernias can cause pain but often are completely painless.
3. Are there many types of hernias?
There are many types of hernias including umbilical hernia, groin (inguinal) hernia, femoral hernia, hiatal hernia and many more.
4. Can hernias get better with exercise or rest?
No! A hernia is a physical hole that needs to be repaired surgically. Rest, exercise or "waiting it out" will not get rid of a hernia.
5. What is the treatment for a hernia?
A hernia can only be repaired with surgery. Fortunately, hernia surgeries are very safe and often can be performed in less than an hour on outpatient basis.
6. How long is hernia surgery?
Most hernias can be repaired in 30-60 minutes as outpatient procedures. Some complex hernias such as recurrent hernias or infected hernias, or very large hernias may require longer surgical times.
7. When should someone think about having their hernia repaired?
In general great majority of hernias, even those with no symptoms, should be repaired. The reason is that any hernia is at risk for "incarceration" (can't be pushed back in) or "strangulation" (can't be pushed back in and is lacking oxygen). Both of these conditions may require urgent surgical repair. It is always safer to repair a hernia on elective basis rather than on emergent or urgent basis.
8. What is the recovery period for hernia surgery?
Most hernia surgeries are performed as outpatient. You are able to walk around your house once you get home but we recommend avoiding exercise till you are cleared by your surgeon to do so. Many people are able to return to work the next day but we generally recommend a two or three day home stay for more comfort.
9. How much pain can one expect after hernia surgery?
Most hernia surgeries, especially if repaired with minimally invasive techniques, cause mild degree of pain for a few days. Pain after surgery is well controlled with oral pain medications. Special pain protocols have been developed by Dr. Solomon which substantially reduce the amount of pain after surgery.
10. Is hernia surgery covered by insurance?
Absolutely! All insurance plans cover hernia surgery. For those without insurance cash options are available.
11. Are there different techniques in hernia surgery?
Yes! In general, there are two main techniques when considering hernia repairs. Traditional technique or "open" surgery requires larger incisions (3-30 inches depending on type of hernia) where as minimally invasive techniques require substantially smaller incisions (half to one inch). Dr. Solomon believes minimally invasive techniques, when feasible, provide for superior results and faster recovery and thus advocates them. Minimally invasive techniques include laparoscopic and robotic surgery.
12. Why should I pick Dr. Solomon for my surgery?
Dr. Solomon is a true expert hernia surgeon. He is a pioneer in the field of minimally invasive surgery and has performed over 5000 hernia surgeries to date. He also teaches his advance laparoscopic hernia repair technique to interested surgeons. He is Chief of Department of Surgery at Torrance Memorial Medical Center and Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at University of California, Riverside School of Medicine. Above all, he has dedicated his career to compassionate care of his patients and advancing the art of surgery. You will be in very good hands!