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Most Common Hernia Types

A hernia occurs when a piece of tissue bulges through an area of the body — usually a weak point in a person’s abdominal wall. Click the drop-downs below to learn about some of the most common hernia types that occur in the body.
Inguinal hernias are hernias that occur in the groins involving the inguinal canal.  They are the most common hernia type seen in the United States, the majority of which occur in males (10 to 1 male to female ratio). They can be unilateral (on one side) or bilateral (on both sides). 
Umbilical hernias occur within the umbilicus (i.e. bellybutton). They are considered a subtype of ventral hernia and compose the majority of all ventral hernias. They are most often noticeable as a bulge within or through the belly button. 
The term ventral hernia is a general term used to describe any hernia that occurs through the anterior abdominal wall. They include umbilical, epigastric, incisional and spigelian hernias.
An epigastric hernia is a ventral hernia that occurs in the midline above the umbilicus (i.e. bellybutton). They most often appear as a bulge between the bellybutton and the sternum (i.e. breast bone). They are often associated with minimal to no symptoms.
Femoral hernias are a variant of hernias that occur through the femoral canal, which is in close approximation to the inguinal canal. They can often be confused with inguinal hernias and are relatively rare, encompassing 2-4% of all groin hernias. They are typically found in females and have a one in four chance of becoming incarcerated.
An incisional hernia is a hernia that occurs through a previous incision for abdominal or pelvic surgery.
A recurrent hernia is any hernia that returns after having been previously repaired.
Spigelian hernias are a significantly rare ventral hernia that occurs along the outside of the rectus muscle below the level of the umbilicus. They are difficult to diagnose and often are found incidentally during imaging for a separate indication. Sometimes they can present with no warning signs as an acute incarceration or strangulation. 
Rectus diastasis is an abnormal separation of the rectus muscles from the midline. It is not a true hernia in the sense that there is no defect within the abdominal wall and no risk for incarceration or strangulation. The physical findings are often similar to a ventral hernia and include a bulge in the anterior abdominal wall that can be confused with a true ventral hernia. Rectus Diastasis is often seen in women following pregnancy or in men with higher than normal visceral fat. Symptoms can include abnormal bulging and discomfort with activity. Rectus diastasis can be repaired. An in depth discussion regarding your individual options will take place on the day of your in person evaluation. 

Why Choose Vail Health for Hernia Surgery?

The Vail Health Hernia Center combine top-of-the-line treatment and care with the scenery and lifestyle of the Vail Valley. The advancement in non-invasive hernia surgeries with the state-of-the-art da Vinci Xi Surgical System allows for the specialty-trained surgeons to treat your hernia with quality, precision and in a timely fashion. The comprehensive collaboration between the surgeons and the physical therapists at Howard Head Sports Medicine has proven to be an effective course of treatment if you are looking for a quick and safe return to the activities you love — much sooner than most recovery timelines. There is no better setting or team of doctors to trust with your hernia treatment than at Vail Health's Hernia Center.

Traveling to Vail for Surgery

Where else would you rather be for surgery than Vail, Colorado, where you'll be surrounded by serene, mountain landscapes, the world's top surgeons and advanced technology? Many of Vail Health's patients travel from out of town and out of state to have their hernia surgery in Vail. You will find that there are many lodging options throughout the area to serve your hospitality and comfort needs while you recover from surgery. Learn more about how to best plan your trip to the Vail Valley and what to expect.