What is a Hernia?

So many of our patients ask, “What is a hernia, exactly?”

A hernia is a hole through which fat, intestines, and/or other organs can enter. This hole may naturally be there or may occur due to surgery (such as an incision) or trauma (such as a tear).

There are many types of hernias. We specialize in those that go through muscle and fascia (fibrous tissue), especially of the abdominal wall, pelvis, back, and flank.

Hernia symptoms may vary. Some hernias may be very painful and debilitating, while others may involve no discomfort at all.

Though hernias are usually associated with a bulging through the overlying skin, not all hernias are obvious. In particular, women are more likely to present with symptoms without a bulge.

Similarly, athletes may have a muscle tear, sometimes called a sports hernia, with pain and very little bulging.