Hernia Surgery

Hernia Surgery

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Duke's hernia specialists use minimally invasive surgery to repair painful hernias, prevent complications and reduce the need for repeat hernia surgeries. Our goal is to return you to pain-free health as quickly as possible.

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Hernias occur when an organ or tissue squeezes through a weak spot in muscle or connective tissue.

  • Inguinal and femoral hernias are found in the groin. 
  • Umbilical hernias are in the belly button, and hiatal hernias occur in the upper part of the stomach.
  • Ventral hernias, which are often referred to as incisional hernias, develop as a bulge between the muscles in the abdominal wall. They may occur following pregnancy, following weight gain, or at an abdominal incision site.

Prompt Hernia Treatment Is Important
Hernias cannot heal on their own and can increase your risk of complications. We will assess your condition promptly and recommend the most effective approach, including a variety of surgical options. When appropriate, small incisions may be used that cause less pain and help you recover faster. When larger, complex hernias are present, or risk factors and complications such as infection are a concern, larger incisions may be necessary. Choosing the right treatment for your condition increases the likelihood you will have a positive outcome, and decreases the risk of complications and hernia recurrence.

Our Locations
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.


Laparoscopic Hernia Surgery

When hernias are small, we may insert a laparoscopic, or lighted tube, through small incisions, to access your hernia and repair the affected area. Small incisions minimize your pain and have been shown to hasten your recovery. 

Components Separation (Separation of Parts)

During this complex, advanced procedure, surgeons rearrange the abdominal muscles to eliminate the weakness, and use a synthetic mesh, or mesh made from biologic tissue, which is eventually replaced by your own body tissue, to hold the repositioned muscles in place. 

Supportive Garments

If you are not a candidate for surgery, hernia trusses are a type of girdle that may control some symptoms.

Lifestyle Changes

If obesity and smoking are increasing your risk for hernias, we recommend ways to lose weight and stop smoking before undergoing hernia surgery.

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Physical Exam

Your doctor will visually and physically assess the hernia to evaluate its location and size. You will also be asked questions to determine the type of pain you are experiencing.  This will help us accurately diagnose your condition and determine the most effective treatment.

Imaging Tests

CT scans assess the size of your hernia and related factors. These images will guide corrective surgery.


Among the Best Hospitals for GI in the U.S.
Where you receive your care matters. Duke University Hospital is ranked among the best in the nation for gastroenterology and GI surgery by U.S. News & World Report for 2019–2020.

Why Choose Duke

High-Volume Referral Center
We are a high-volume referral center for people needing surgery for simple and complex hernias. We achieve consistent, quality results, and offer pain-free solutions that address the type of hernia you have.

Quick, Effective Hernia Treatment
We encourage the repair of hernias as quickly as possible.  Hernias cannot get better without surgical intervention. Treating hernias quickly will reduce the possibility of the hernia worsening, and could lead to medical emergencies such as bowel obstruction or the need for more complex surgery at a later date.

Comprehensive, Collaborative Support
Your team may include specialists in plastic surgery, gastrointestinal, colorectal and gynecological surgery. We work together to repair your hernia.

Complex Hernia Surgeries
Our plastic surgeons perform advanced techniques, including component separation and mesh repair to fix complex hernias including ventral hernias, also known as incisional hernias. The procedure strengthens and reconstructs a weakened abdominal wall and restores displaced muscles.

Innovative Surgical Techniques
Our plastic surgeons are researching new techniques to repair complex hernias, and share their findings with doctors across the country. Your surgeon’s knowledge about what causes hernias, and new surgical approaches in hernia repair mean you receive the best possible treatment recommendation for your type of hernia. This increases the likelihood you will achieve a positive outcome, and decreases your chance of the hernia recurring.