Hernia Types

Common Types of Hernias

Inguinal
This is another name for groin hernias. It’s the second most common type of hernia, and ten times more common in men. These hernias can be divided into direct or indirect.

Umbilical
This is the most common type of hernias. Everyone has a small opening in the belly button left by the umbilical cord. This opening can enlarge, resulting in a hernia. The hernia needs to be repaired when it is enlarging or causing symptoms like pain or intestinal blockage.

Incisional
This type of hernia develops where a surgeon has previously cut through the abdominal wall. These hernias come in all sizes and complexity. Many can be difficult to repair, and require a robotic hernia specialist to achieve a durable repair.

Hiatal
This type of hernia occurs when the stomach slips through the diaphragm hiatus into the chest. Frequently patients have heartburn, chest pain or trouble swallowing. There are four types of hiatal hernias. Repairs are usually done through the abdomen and involve pulling the stomach into the abdomen, tightening the diaphragm hiatus and performing an fundoplication (wrap).


Additional Hernia Types

Paraesophageal
This is a type of hiatal hernia, but it is frequently is used by surgeons to refer to very large hiatal hernia where more than one-third of the stomach is in the chest.

Epigastric
This is a hernia that occurs in the linea alba in the upper midline of the abdomen. These usually are small and feel like small lumps under the skin.

Diaphragmatic
The diaphragm is a muscle and can develop hernias. Hiatal & paraesophageal hernias are among the most common. Less common types include Morgagni or Bochdalek.

Spigelian
These occur in either lower quadrant of the abdomen, above the groin, where the posterior connective tissue layer thins.

Parastomal
A hernia that forms around a stoma (colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy) is known as a parastomal hernia. More than 50% of patients with stomas will eventually develop a parastomal hernia. These should be fixed when the hernia affects the function of the stoma, or causes pain or blockage.

Ventral
This is a term that applies to all hernias in the front of the abdomen. Usually they refer to larger umbilical hernias.