Hernia Specialist

General Surgical Care P.C.

General Surgeons located in Bethlehem, PA

Your hernia may only cause an occasional ache now, but it’s still important to seek treatment because hernias worsen over time and lead to serious complications. Surgery is the only way to repair a hernia, so it’s good to know you can count on the expertise of Dr. Mark Schadt and Dr. Richard Conron, Jr. at General Surgical Care. They have extensive experience performing laparoscopic and open surgery to treat all types of hernias. If you have any questions, please call their office in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, or schedule an appointment to discuss your best options.

Hernia Q & A

What causes a hernia?

A hernia develops when an internal organ or structure protrudes through a weak abdominal muscle. The muscle may weaken due to age, lack of tone, physical activity, heavy lifting, frequent coughing, or straining due to constipation. Pregnancy and weight gain also stretch abdominal tissues and weaken muscles.

What are the different types of hernias?

Inguinal and femoral hernias are the most common of all the following abdominal types of abdominal hernias:

  • Inguinal hernia: occurs in the inner groin
  • Femoral: appears in the upper thigh or outer groin
  • Hiatal hernia: occurs inside the abdomen when the stomach protrudes up through the diaphragm
  • Umbilical hernia: intestine or fatty tissue pushes through near the navel
  • Ventral: occurs in the general abdominal wall often along previous incision

What symptoms will you experience if you have a hernia?

Abdominal hernias cause a noticeable lump that often increases in size when you stand or put pressure on your abdomen. You may experience a dull ache or pain that gets worse after activity that puts pressure on your abdomen.

Hiatal hernias are different because they’re inside your abdomen. Instead of seeing a bulge, you’ll have symptoms like heartburn, indigestion, and chest pain.

Over time, hernias get larger and more painful. They can also develop complications such as strangulation, which happens when the intestine is squeezed tightly enough to cut off blood supply.

How are hernias treated?

Adult hernias do not go away on their own, and the only way to treat them is with surgical repair. The surgeons at General Surgical Care treat patients of all ages with one of two types of surgery -- laparoscopic and open -- depending on the type of hernia and each person’s individual health.

During your office visit, your surgeon discusses the best approach. As one example, a bilateral inguinal hernia is often repaired with laparoscopic surgery, while a unilateral inguinal hernia is approached using open surgery.

Laparoscopic surgery

Surgery is performed through several tiny incisions. A long, thin laparoscope and other specialized laparoscopic instruments are inserted through the incisions. The lighting and high-definition camera in the laparoscope allow surgeons to see the area, then use the other tools to repair your hernia.

Open surgery

Traditional surgery in which one long incision is made, which opens enough for surgeons to see and repair the hernia.