You could have a hernia for years and never know it until it gets large enough to cause pain or gets stuck in the abdominal wall. Board-certified general surgeon John Bollins, DO, and the team at Advanced Surgical Associates of Northern Minnesota help patients with hernias at their offices in Hibbing, Duluth, and Ely, Minnesota. They specialize in hernia surgery, using minimally invasive techniques whenever possible. To learn more about hernia treatment, call the nearest office or book online today.

Hernias Q & A

What are hernias?

A hernia occurs when internal organs (intestines) or tissues protrude through the wall that normally contains them. Hernias typically appear in the abdominal wall when increased pressure or an injury creates a weak spot in the muscles or fascia (a sheet of connective tissue) that make up the wall.

As the tissues push through the weak area, a lump or bulge develops under your skin. You may not have symptoms at first, but over time, the hernia enlarges and causes pain.

When the hernia gets too large or painful, you only have one treatment option: surgery. You also need emergency surgery if the hernia gets trapped in the opening. This condition, a strangulated hernia, cuts off the blood supply and can cause tissue death, making it a medical emergency.

Can I develop different hernias?

Hernias have different names based on their location:


Ventral hernias

Any hernia appearing in the front of the abdomen is a ventral hernia. Specific ventral hernias include:

  • Umbilical hernia (at the belly button)
  • Incisional hernia (at the site of a previous surgical incision)
  • Epigastric hernia (along the middle of the upper abdomen)
  • Spigelian hernia (at the outer edge of the six-pack muscles)

Inguinal hernias

Inguinal hernias occur when your intestines or other tissues protrude through the walls of the inguinal passage in your inner groin (where the lower abdomen meets your thigh).

Indirect inguinal hernias occur in naturally weak areas found in men and women. Direct hernias develop later in life and are more likely to affect men.

How are hernias treated?

Advanced Surgical Associates of Northern Minnesota have years of experience repairing hernias with open surgery and minimally invasive laparoscopic or robotic surgery, depending on the severity of your hernia and whether you need emergency treatment.

During a hernia repair, your surgeon places the tissues and organs back in their normal location and repairs and strengthens the muscles and other tissues in the wall. They may implant a surgical mesh to support the muscles and lower your risk of a recurrent hernia.

Call the office or book online today to get compassionate treatment for a painful hernia.

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