E: zoe@berkshireherniacentre.co.uk

T: 0780 237 8334

We offer expert, professional and friendly advice to enable you to understand your hernia and what to do about it.

We tailor the procedure to your specific needs and provide all aspects of care in relaxed and comfortable surroundings.

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Welcome To The Berkshire Hernia Centre, Reading

The Berkshire Hernia Centre prides itself on a friendly, patient-centred approach

Patients are treated as individuals and offered advice tailored to specific needs. Any surgery is performed in modern operating theatres at a time convenient to the patient.

The Berkshire Hernia Centre is run by highly experienced Consultant Surgeons Mr Simon Middleton and Mr Daniel McGrath. It was developed to provide all aspects of care from consultation to treatment and aftercare for patients with all types of hernia, employing modern and safe surgery.

Mr Middleton and Mr McGrath operate out of the following three hospitals; Spire Dunedin Hospital in Reading, Berkshire, The Berkshire Independent Hospital, also in Reading, and the Circle Reading Hospital.

A hernia is the protrusion of an organ or part of an organ, or other structure, through the wall that normally contains it. Hernias are very common – it is estimated that half a million Americans have one. In the UK, about 120,000 hernia repairs are carried out each year.

There are several types, some of which are much more common than others, although the majority occur in the abdominal wall.

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Types of hernia

1. Inguinal hernia

This type of Hernia is caused when fatty tissue or intestine pokes through a weak spot in the muscle around your groin, appearing at the top of your inner thigh.

Common Symptoms: Occurring more often on the right side of the body in the upper groin area, you may feel severe pain and tenderness around the area of the hernia alongside swelling or a small firm lump.

Common Causes: Older men are more likely to develop this form of hernia, and inguinal hernias may be caused to due genetics, but can also be caused by smoking, strenuous lifting, pregnancy, obesity and many other strains on the body.

Treatment Options: Surgery is commonly recommended if the hernia is causing pain or discomfort, its advised to get surgery even if this is not the case as this form of hernia can lead to strangulation of blood flow, which will cause much more severe symptoms in the future.

2. Femoral hernia

Also Caused by fatty tissue or intestines poking through weak muscle, the difference between Inguinal Hernias and Femoral Hernias is where the hernia pokes through, in this case the Femoral Canal.

Common Symptoms: An uncommon type of hernia the main symptoms for a femoral hernia is a lump poking through the upper groin area, in more severe cases stomach pain and vomiting may occur.

Common Causes: Many things may cause a femoral hernia to develop in a person with an already weak abdominal structure, such as obesity, heavy lifting, giving birth, strenuous passing of urine or stool and as a side effect of dialysis.

Treatment Options: to treat this type of hernia there are two common surgeries, open surgery and laparoscopic surgery which is much less invasive.

3. Epigastric hernia

Appearing as a lump or bulge between the upper abdomen and breastbone, this type of hernia is also caused when tissue pushed through a weak spot in the muscle and is seen in adults and children.

Common Symptoms: While this type of hernia commonly doesn’t have any obvious symptoms its often visible when coughing or any strain on the abdominal muscle group occurs.

Common Causes: Epigastric hernias are known to be caused during muscle development (when it has not developed properly or strongly enough) however due to lack of symptoms not as much is known about these types of hernia as less reported cases are seen.

Treatment Options: Surgery is the only way to repair epigastric hernias as they will not heal themselves over time.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Epigastric hernias that are left untreated can cause much more severe symptoms such as: high fever, nausea, vomiting and difficulty urinating. If you are experiencing any of these problems you should see a hernia specialist as soon as possible to ensure you do not have an epigastric hernia.

4. Umbilical and paraumbilical hernia

Appearing near your belly button, umbilical hernias are common in infants, although do also appear in adults.

Common Symptoms: In infants if the belly button protrudes more than normal when crying this may be a sign of a umbilical hernia, in adults it will show as a small bulge, possibly disguised behind or around the bellybutton.

Common Causes:
During pregnancy the umbilical cord that passes through the infants abdomen causes a small opening, commonly this opening closes up, but sometimes it does not. This is what causes umbilical hernias in children, in adults the development of this kind of hernia can also be due to: Obesity, Straining, A heavy cough, and multiple pregnancies (twins or triplets)

Treatment Options:
For most adults surgery is the recommended course of action for this type of hernia as it’s extremely unlikely it will heal on its own, however in young children (less than a year) its common for these hernias to shrink and heal with little intervening, however if it is still troubling your child (or has developed) at ages 3-5 surgery is often necessary.

5. Incisional hernia

These are caused when a incision during an abdominal surgery does not help correctly or the sutures split during healing.

Common Symptoms: Any sort of abnormal swelling around the site of the surgery may prove to be an incisional hernia, they can be painless and also painful so its prudent to have any odd swelling examined by a professional.

Common Causes: When having an abdominal based surgery for any reason if the sutures split or are not well performed and recovery from your surgery is impeded, this may cause an incisional hernia.

Treatment Options: As these Hernias are most commonly caused by split internal sutures replacing these sutures with a biological mesh (as a form of suture) is the most common method for a recovery surgery.

6. Sportsman’s hernia

Often the most painful of Hernias, Sports related Hernias are soft tissue injuries that lead to weak spots in the muscle, allowing the to develop.

Common Symptoms: When the muscle tears (during exercise) its common to feel a significant amount of pain, the pain will subside with rest, but if it comes back when returning to the sport its possible a hernia has developed, without treatment at this point this type of hernia can cause long term extreme pain.

Common Causes:
Strenuous exercise involving sharp twists and full physical exertion are the most common cause for Sports related hernias

Treatment Options:
When dealing with a Sports hernia there are a few different treatments you can consider, rest and physical therapy may work for you if the hernia is not severe and you are prepared to take the time to strengthen the muscle wall, alternatively if the injury is severe surgery may be necessary although many patients do not need invasive surgery for this type of hernia, however you should always contact a specialist to ensure you are dealing with your hernia correctly.

Contact Us

To get in touch with us directly, please use the following contact details:

0780 237 8334

The Berkshire Hernia Centre offers expert, professional and friendly advice to enable you to understand your hernia and what you should do about it.