Hernia Surgery

Philip L. Leggett, MD -  - General Surgery

Philip L. Leggett, MD

General Surgery & Acid Reflux Treatment located in Houston, TX

If you have a hernia, you could be at high risk for serious complications like digestive problems and pain. Serving the Houston area, Philip L. Leggett, MD, and Seeyuen Lee, MD, specialize in minimally invasive surgical treatment of hiatal, inguinal, umbilical, and ventral hernias. They offer state-of-the-art treatments to help repair your hernia and get you back to your best health. For a consultation, call or make an appointment online.

Hernia Surgery Q & A

What is a hernia?

A hernia is a common health condition in which part of an internal organ pushes through a weakened area of muscle or other tissue that surrounds and supports the organ. Hernias most commonly affect the abdominal organs, including the intestines, and most often present symptoms in the belly, upper thighs, belly button, and groin.

Hernias are the result of increased pressure on the organ, which causes the organ to force its way through the weak spot. Common causes of pressure on your organs include:

  • Coughing
  • Heavy lifting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Sneezing

Hernias may not initially cause pain or severe symptoms but could cause complications if not repaired. Complications of hernias include bowel strangulation, bowel obstruction, and tissue death.

Am I at risk of a hernia?

You could be at high risk of a hernia if you:

  • Are obese
  • Are a smoker
  • Eat an unhealthy diet
  • Have a history of hernias
  • Are or have been pregnant
  • Have had gastric or abdominal surgery
  • Do a lot of heavy lifting or weightlifting at work or home
  • Have a chronic cough or severe seasonal allergies
  • Have chronic constipation or digestive problems

Hernias may present as a soft bulge that you can push back through the hole in the abdominal wall. Or you may not know you have a hernia until you have other symptoms, which may include tenderness, burning, swelling, indigestion, bloating, difficulty swallowing, or gastric reflux.

What are some types of hernias?

Hernia symptoms vary depending on the type and location of your hernia. Types of hernias include:

  • Inguinal: bladder or intestines protrude into the low abdomen or groin
  • Umbilical: small intestine protrudes in or around the belly button area
  • Incisional: small or large intestine protrudes through a surgical incision
  • Ventral: tissue or intestines protrude through weak muscles of the abdomen
  • Femoral: small intestine protrudes into the upper thigh, common with women
  • Hiatal: stomach protrudes upward into the chest cavity

Your surgeon diagnoses your hernia using physical assessment and diagnostic testing, such as ultrasound, endoscopy, or X-ray.

What are the treatment options for a hernia?

Initially, you may not need treatment for your hernia. Your primary care doctor may choose to monitor your hernia until you have signs of complications. If you have symptoms that are a concern, however, surgical repair is necessary.

The team at Philip L. Leggett, MD, offers minimally invasive laparoscopic and general surgery hernia repair. Your surgeon weighs your risks and the location and severity of your hernia to determine the best approach to your hernia treatment.  

If you have a hernia that needs repair, schedule a consultation by calling or booking online.

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