UC Health Hernia Center

UC Health  Hernia Center

The UC Health Hernia Center provides patients with full-spectrum, multidisciplinary care for abdominal wall hernia repair and complex abdominal wall reconstruction. Greater Cincinnati’s regional leaders in complex surgery at this center offer the latest technology and procedures to ensure decreased hospital stays, faster healing and overall better outcomes.

Conditions We Treat

A hernia is a weakness or hole in the muscle layer of the abdomen or groin. Abdominal contents such as fat or intestine can protrude through these areas of weakness, sometimes causing discomfort or pain. In some circumstances, the bulge can trap tissue causing what is called incarceration. Hernias can also cause strangulation, which occurs when blood supply to the intestinal or bowel tissue is cut off, sometimes causing tissue to die. Strangulation can be life-threatening and may necessitate emergency surgery. Hernias can occur in the following areas:

  • Inguinal—groin (the most common type of hernia)
  • Femoral—femoral canal located in the groin
  • Umbilical—belly button
  • Epigastric—middle of the abdominal wall above the belly button
  • Ventral—anywhere on the abdominal wall above the groin
  • Incisional—area of an incision from a previous surgery

Hernia Repair Surgeries We Offer

  • Primary closure—Closure of the defect with sutures only.
  • Mesh reinforced closure—Some hernias require mesh to reinforce the repair and add strength to the abdominal wall. Mesh can be permanent or dissolvable, depending on the hernia.
  • Open—Performed through an incision directly over and similar in size to the hernia.
  • Laparoscopic—Performed with a camera placed inside the abdomen and instruments that make several small incisions, usually requiring mesh placement.
  • Robotic—Similar to a laparoscopic approach with the assistance of a robot to aid surgical techniques.

What To Expect

A surgeon will work with each patient to determine the most appropriate surgical approach to repair the hernia. Some lifestyle changes prior to the surgery may be encouraged to improve outcomes, including smoking cessation and weight loss to reduce body mass index (BMI) below 35. Patients who undergo hernia repairs often go home the day of surgery. They are encouraged to restrict their activity for a period of weeks after the surgery.