Dr. Roth’s first operation as a surgical intern was on inguinal hernia repair. Since the beginning of his career in surgery, he has maintained a focused interest on hernia surgery. Dr. Roth has over 20 years’ experience in the treatment and repair of all types of hernias. Hernia surgery remains a large part of his elective practice. He is a member of the American Hernia Society and continues to educate himself in the latest techniques for hernia repair.

What is a hernia?
Hernias develop when abdominal tissue bulges through the abdominal wall, a muscle “sack”, which contains your abdominal organs. It is estimated that 5% of the population will develop a hernia.

What symptoms may you experience with a hernia?
Most patients initially notice a bulge that may become painful especially with heavy lifting or exercise. These symptomatic hernias can be repaired electively. Unfortunately, at times a portion of your intestine or other abdominal organ can become entrapped in your hernia resulting in a serious life threatening condition. If you have a hernia and you develop severe abdominal pain with or without nausea and vomiting you should go immediately to your local emergency room! You may require emergency surgery.

General over time if hernias are not repaired, they will slowly enlarge.

What are the common types of hernias?

  • Groin hernias are very common (about 75% of all hernias are groin hernias) and there are two types.
    • 1. Inguinal hernias, very common in both males and females.
    • 2. Femoral hernias, more common in females and rare in males.
    • Both type of hernias present as bulges with or without pain in the groin area and can usually be correctly identified by physical exam.
  • Umbilical hernias are hernias that develop around the belly button and are slightly more common in women.
  • Incisional hernias occur after abdominal surgery, when the scar or healed tissue from an abdominal surgery break down.
  • Sports Hernias are not true hernia but injury of the muscles in the groin and require special consideration depending on the symptoms, patient’s activity level, and injury.
  • Rare types of hernias are Spigelian, obturator, sciatic, perineal and lumbar. These type of hernias are unfortunately initially mis-diagnosed and commonly require an imaging study like a CT scan for correct diagnosis.
  • What is the best type of hernia repair for you? There are many different types of surgical repair techniques: open, laparoscopic, or Robot with the use of mesh (artificial tissue) or native tissue. Each hernia repair should be individualized and performed by a hernia surgeon to maximize the possibility of a good outcome.
  • Dr. Roth performs all three type of repairs, open, laparoscopic and robot. When requested by the patient and appropriate he will perform primary repair without the placement of mesh.

Complex Abdominal Wall Hernias/Enterocutaneous fistulas:
Patients with repeat incisional hernias, mesh infections, complex abdominal wall defects with enterocutaneous fistulas are patients that may benefit the most by being evaluated by a hernia and critical care specialist.