When most people think of a hernia, they think of agroin hernia. In fact, about three-quarters of all hernias that are repaired in the United States are in the groin area. As a leading specialist, and the only doctor in the Western U.S. whose practice is focused exclusively on all aspects related to hernias, Shirin Towfigh, M.D., F.A.C.S. of the Beverly Hills Hernia Center is here to clear up some of the confusion around this often painful and disruptive medical concern.
A groin hernia can occur as one of three basic types. Each type can occur in the left or right side of the groin, so it’s conceivable that one patient could suffer from as many as six groin hernias at a time! Fortunately, this is usually not the case.
The three basic types of groin hernias break down as follows.
These are the most common type of hernias among both men and women and are often characterized by a groin bulge. Most hernias are essentially holes in the body that have become large enough for internal organs to create a protuberance. With an indirect hernia there is a naturally occurring hole that occurs near or at the genitalia. If the hole gets very big, then the contents can bulge through and cause a scrotal hernia in men or may protrude into the labia in women. Not surprisingly, these hernias can create a great deal of groin pain. In some cases, there may be a risk of intestines getting stuck in the opening, requiring an emergency operation.
These are not necessarily holes, but are actually weakened portions of the transversus abdominis muscles within the abdomen. Direct hernias are more commonly seen among older patients. If a younger patient has a direct hernia, it indicates an overall weakness of the muscles, which may be a genetic issue or could be due to poor muscle tone. Direct hernias are the least likely to create a serious risk of entrapping an organ, as the hole or weakness tends to be wide and shallow.
Affecting women far more often than men, these hernias tend to be smaller and harder to see. It is nevertheless very important to diagnose femoral hernias early on, as they pose the highest risk for trapping an intestine and requiring urgent surgery. Up to one-third of all femoral hernia operations are performed on an emergency basis, with patients being unaware of having any problem before experiencing acute groin pain.
Dr. Shirin Towfigh – The Hernia Authority
If you are experiencing groin pain or discomfort, do not hesitate to reach out to renowned hernia specialist Dr. Towfigh of the Beverly Hills Hernia Center. Whether you are suffering from an abdominal or groin hernia, very few doctors share her comprehensive knowledge of how to deal with the painful and upsetting issues created by hernias, as well as the intricacies of performing successful hernia repair surgery.
Dr. Towfigh has taught minimally invasive surgical techniques at the most prestigious teaching institutions in Southern California, including the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, the USC Keck School of Medicine, LA County+USC Hospital, and the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. She is comfortable performing such delicate procedures aslaparoscopic inguinal hernia repair, however, where appropriate, she is also willing to take a more conservative approach in cases where simple exercises and other therapies may be effective in treating minor hernias.
For more information, call 310-358-5020 or visit the Beverly Hills Hernia Center contact page.