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Hernia information

What is hernia?

A Hernia happens when an organ protrudes through a surrounding tissue wall, resulting in a visible lump or bulge under the skin. Hernias usually happen in the abdomen area, but can also occur in other areas like the groin area and belly button.

They are usually not life-threatening, but, when worsened, can lead to serious complications such as strangulation or blockage of organs. This may, in turn, cause severe pain, nausea and infection. A strangulated hernia is an emergency that requires immediate medical care and treatment.

There are several types of hernias that affect different groups of people. Inguinal hernia accounts for 75% of hernia cases and is 8 times more likely to affect men than women.

What is Hernia

What types of hernia are there?

Inguinal Hernia

Inguinal Hernia

The most common type of hernia, inguinal hernia occurs when the intestine protrudes out of the abdominal wall into the inguinal canal in the groin.

Men are more prone to inguinal hernia because of the way the male body is structured. In men, the inguinal canal is the part where the spermatic cord connects the abdomen to the scrotum. Some typical symptoms include a bulge in the pubic area.

This lump can cause pain, especially when coughing, bending over or lifting up heavy objects.

Hiatal Hernia

Hiatal Hernia

Common in people over the age of 50, a hiatal hernia is when a part of the stomach tissue protrudes through the diaphragm (hiatus) into the chest cavity. The diaphragm is the muscle tissue that separates the abdomen from the chest.

Hiatal hernias is typically associated with heartburn and, in more serious cases, gaestroesophageal reflux. This happens when contents from the stomach start to flow backward through the hiatus into the esophagus.

Umbilical Hernia

Umbilical Hernia

A common occurrence in babies below 6 months old, this is a condition when their intestines push through their umbilical cord in the abdominal wall, causing a bulge around the bellybutton. Largely harmless, umbilical hernia normally goes away on itself within two years and does not require medical attention.

Other types of hernia include incisional hernia, which is common at the site of a previous abdominal surgery, and femoral hernia, which occurs in the femoral artery in the upper thigh.

Are hernias life-threatening?

Hernias can obstruct bowel movements and cause some swelling and pain, but are generally not life-threatening. However, when a hernia becomes strangulated and doesn’t receive sufficient blood supply, the affected intestine may eventually become infected and die.

In the case of a strangulated hernia, immediate medical care and treatment are required.


How are hernias treated?

There are ways to reduce hernia symptoms and pain such as having lighter meals and not putting pressure on the protruding part. However, most types of hernias do not go away on their own. If left untreated, hernias grow bigger and can lead to serious complications.

As a visible lump or bulge is usually present in inguinal hernia, it can be diagnosed with a physical examination. For hiatal and umbilical hernia, our doctors will use X-ray and ultrasound for diagnosis.


Herniorrhaphy & Hernioplasty

Other than umbilical hernias which resolve themselves within two years, a hernia repair surgery is recommended for other hernia conditions.

Herniorrhaphy involves making a cut in the abdomen at the site of the hernia and returning the displaced organ back to its original position. When the hernia is too large and cannot be pushed back to the cavity, hernioplasty can be performed. In hernioplasty, nylon meshes are stitched over the hernia to strengthen the abdominal wall muscles.


Laparoscopic Surgery

Both herniorrhaphy and hernioplasty can be done traditionally as an open surgery, or as a minimally-invasive laparoscopic surgery. Our experienced colorectal surgeons are trained in laparoscopic surgery, which uses smaller incisions and hence results in a faster and recovery process.

Hernia surgeries are considered fairly safe and effective day surgeries, which mean patients can be discharged on the same day.

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Our Hernia Surgeons
Dr Dennis Koh
Dr Dennis Koh

Medical Director & Senior Consultant Surgeon
B Med Sci (Nottingham), MBBS (Nottingham)
MMed (Surgery), FRCS (Edinburgh), FAMS

Hernia Surgeon, Dr Dennis Koh is a MOH-accredited and experienced colorectal surgeon; and currently the Medical Director at Colorectal Practice.

Hernia Surgeon, Dr Koh strives to provide a customized treatment plan for each patient, which allows for better outcomes. He also honed his skills in proctology abroad in Geneva, bringing a more diverse touch to his practice.

Dr Sharon Koh
Dr Sharon Koh Zhiling

Senior Consultant Surgeon
MBBS (Singapore), MMed (Surgery),
FRCS (Edinburgh), FAMS

Singapore Hernia Doctor, Dr Sharon Koh is an experienced colorectal surgeon and the former Director of Endoscopy at Alexandra Health.

Dr Koh completed her fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in the US after being awarded the Academic Medicine Development Award by the National University Hospital.

Dr Sharon Koh
Dr Pauleon Tan Enjiu

Senior Consultant Surgeon
MBBS (Singapore), MMed (Surgery),
FRCS (Edinburgh), FACS

Singapore Hernia Surgeon Dr Pauleon Tan has served in public hospitals for over 15 years and is experienced in minimally invasive surgery and endoscopy.

Dr Tan undertook advanced colorectal surgical training at Japan’s Saitama International Medical Center after being awarded the Ministry of Health – Health Manpower Development Plan (HMDP) Award.

Reach Us

Colorectal Practice (Orchard)

3 Mount Elizabeth, #12-14
Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
Singapore 228510
Tel: (+65) 6262 1226

Colorectal Practice (Novena)

38 Irrawaddy Road, #10-28/29
Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
Singapore 329563
Tel: (+65) 6266 1226

Colorectal Practice (Gleneagles)

6 Napier Road #02-12
Gleneagles Medical Centre
Singapore 258499
Tel: (+65) 6539 9626

Colorectal Practice (Farrer)

1 Farrer Park Station Rd,
#14-09/10 Connexion,
Singapore 217562
Tel: (+65) 6262 1226