Harbor Style October 2016 : Page 2

HEALTH CARE PROFILE All About Hernias Dr. Maria Castilla answers your hernia questions. Have you ever wondered what a hernia is? Have you ever thought how do I know if I have one? More than one-million abdominal wall hernias are repaired each year in the US, and it is the most commonly performed surgery worldwide. A hernia is a defect in the fascia layer of the abdominal wall. This defect allows fat or intestine to protrude through the fascia layer and can cause an unsightly bulge, pain or, worse, an obstruction or perforation. Hernias result from of an area of weakness and strain in the abdominal wall. There are some areas of weakness that a person can be born with, such as the belly button and groin, while others can arise from previous surgery or trauma. There are several factors that can increase your risk of getting a hernia, including smoking, COPD, straining, pregnancy, previous surgery and obesity. The most common type of hernia is an inguinal hernia. Others types of hernias include ventral, umbilical, incisional, femoral and hiatal. Hernias can be problematic because they can cause symptoms such as a bulge, pain or swelling. Depending on what is herniated through the defect, hernias can also cause constipation or, worse, a bowel obstruction. Hernias can also lead to complications such as persistent pain if it becomes incarcerated. An incarcerated hernia is one that cannot be pushed back into the abdominal cavity. This is concerning because the contents inside the hernia can lose the blood supply and be at risk of dying or perforating. There are several treatment options for hernias, including surgical and nonsurgical procedures. If a hernia is asymptomatic, sometimes it does not require any form of treatment. Nonsurgical options include hernia trusses or abdominal binders that are worn to help keep hernia defects from sticking out or getting bigger. Surgery is the most common treatment option, and there are a number of different techniques available. No matter the location of the hernia, the options are always open, laparoscopic or robotic surgical repair. Open repair has been performed since the 1800s. Laparoscopic hernia repair began in the early 1980s and offers smaller incisions and a faster recovery. However, there are limitations to standard laparoscopic techniques when it comes to ventral, incisional and umbilical hernias. Only small defects can be closed before a mesh is applied. Usually, during laparoscopic hernia repair, a mesh is placed without actually closing the defect. Currently, the best recommended \MKPVQY]M WN Å`QVO I PMZVQI LMNMK\ Q[ KTW[QVO \PM PWTM ÅZ[\ JMNWZM IXXTaQVO I mesh. Adding mesh to a repair decreases your risk of recurrences to less than 8 percent; without mesh repair the risk of recurrence is as high as 30 percent. ADVERTISING FEATURE Robotic repair is the latest technology in hernia repair and has afforded us the ability to close much larger hernias before placing the mesh. This provides two layers of reinforcement. This method goes along with the current recommended best therapy for hernia repair. For more information about Dr. Maria Castilla’s practice, or for a physician referral, call (941) 624-4441 or visit fawcetthospital.com. 2| HARBOR STYLE

Fawcett Memorial Hospital

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