Understanding Hernias

June is Hernia Awareness Month and to help educate you on what a hernia is, how they can be avoided and how they’re treated, we spoke with board-certified general surgeon Shiva Seetahal, MD. Dr. Seetahal specializes in procedures that treat gastrointestinal conditions, hernias, and endocrine disorders, and provides care for the body, mind, and spirit to support his patients’ overall well-being.


What is a Hernia?

“A hernia is a condition which happens when there is a break in the abdominal wall covering,” explains Dr. Seetahal. “The most common types are inguinal (groin hernias), ventral (abdominal wall) and hiatal (when your stomach moves up into the chest).

Many times, an exact cause cannot be identified, however, heavy lifting, pregnancy, straining on the toilet or coughing can cause a hernia.  Conditions such as obesity, smoking and poorly controlled diabetes will make this condition worse and should be corrected before elective hernia surgery. This is a major reason our comprehensive team approach to hernia care is so successful.  

Treatment for Hernias

“Once a hernia becomes painful and is affecting your everyday life, you’ll most likely need surgery to repair it,” says Dr. Seetahal. “There are a variety of surgical techniques which are individualized based on the patient. Size of the hernia, occupation of the patient, previous surgery just to name a few. Open laparoscopic, or robotic procedures are all available to our patients and it is best to discuss all these options with your surgeon. Additionally, certain types of hernias can be performed with different types of anesthesia which can be discussed as well with your anesthesia provider.  

Almost all hernias are repaired with mesh to reduce the recurrence rate to less than 2%. Remember, hernias are a disruption of the covering of the abdominal wall. Just like anything that needs to be repaired surgeons need tools and materials to “fix the break.”  Unfortunately, most of the commercials on media do not explain the many advantages of hernia mesh.  It is best to once again discuss these options with your surgeon.  

Choose AdventHealth for Your Hernia Surgery

The world-class team of award-winning surgeons at AdventHealth are dedicated to your whole health and quick recovery. Our surgeons have hundreds of hours of advanced training with the newest surgical procedures and equipment to heal you in the most effective and least invasive way possible.


To speak with one of our experts about hernia concerns or to schedule your hernia surgery, please visit AHCentralFloridaSurgery.com or call 407-543-4670.

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