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Hernia Specialist

Anish Nihalani, MD, FACS

Weight Loss Physicians & General Surgeons located in Edison, NJ & Clark, NJ

Hernias cause significant pain, and without prompt attention, they can rupture. As a top-ranked general surgeon in Edison, NJ, Anish Nihalani, M.D., F.A.C.S., offers state-of-the-art hernia surgery to help patients relieve painful symptoms and prevent serious complications.

Hernia Q & A


What is a hernia?

A hernia is a serious medical issue that occurs when an organ (or sometimes fatty tissue) protrudes through the anatomical “wall” that holds it in its normal position. As the organ pushes outward against the wall, it invades the space beyond its normal boundaries, causing bulging and pain that can become quite severe. Some hernias can become pinched or “strangulated” as they push outward through the fibrous wall of tissue, limiting or entirely cutting off the blood supply to that part of the organ. Hernias can occur in different areas of the body, and each type of hernia requires a different treatment approach.

What are the most common types of hernias?

The most common types of hernias are:

  • inguinal hernias, located in the lower belly or groin, forming when fatty tissue or an organ (usually the intestine) protrudes through the wall that surrounds it
  • umbilical hernias that form around the bellybutton region and are most common among infants
  • incisional hernias, bulges that form at or near a surgical wound that hasn’t completely healed or has healed incorrectly
  • hiatal hernias, which occur when a portion of the stomach protrudes through the esophageal opening into the chest cavity

Less commonly, femoral hernias occur in the upper thigh or groin area, appearing as a painful lump or bulge.

What symptoms can hernias cause?

Most hernias are associated with some degree of pain ranging from moderate to severe, and often, a visible lump or bump appears where the organ has shifted its position. Other times, a hernia causes more vague symptoms caused when the organ’s normal function is disrupted. Some hernias cause little to no pain, but a bulge may be visible when the patient assumes a specific position.

How is a hernia treated?

Hernias can be repaired with surgery to restore the organ to its normal position and reinforce the weak area in the wall using a special surgical mesh to prevent the hernia from recurring. The mesh is anchored in place with sutures or surgical staples. Many hernia repair surgeries can be performed laparoscopically, using very small incisions to view and access the surgical site so less tissue is damaged and recovery is faster.