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Michael Todd Wood, MD, FACS

Board Certified General Surgeon & Complex Wound Care located in Houston, TX & Sugar Land, TX

That lump in your abdomen that appears when you laugh, cry, or cough may be caused by a hernia that needs surgical attention. Michael Todd Wood, MD, is a board-certified surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery. He is well-known for his skill in hernia repair as well as the friendly, welcoming atmosphere he fosters at his clinics. For your convenience, he has two locations in Sugar Land, Texas, and a third in Houston. Call the office of your choice or book your appointment online.

Hernia Q & A

What is a hernia?

A hernia occurs when an internal organ or fatty tissue squeezes through a weakened area of the muscle or other structure that normally holds it in place. This can cause a visible lump that becomes larger when you strain with coughing or during a bowel movement, and recedes when you stop straining.

Depending on the size and location of the hernia, you might also notice a dull ache in the region, increased pain with lifting, and an enlarging lump that doesn’t recede. Hernias generally grow larger over time, which can cause worsening symptoms.

An untreated hernia can become strangulated, which occurs when the protruding organ tissue becomes trapped outside the muscular wall and begins to die as its blood supply is cut off.

What are the different types of hernias?

Hernias are essentially identified by their location. The most common types of hernias include:

  • Inguinal hernia, located in the inguinal canal of the inner groin
  • Incisional or ventral hernia, resulting from weakening that develops after an abdominal incision and usually related to a remote surgical procedure
  • Umbilical hernia, located near the belly button and most common in newborns and pregnant women
  • Hiatal hernia, which allows your upper stomach to bulge up through the hiatus, a small opening in the diaphragm through which the esophagus passes

Inguinal hernias are by far the most common type and occur much more frequently in men than women.

What is the treatment for a hernia?

The only type of hernia that may resolve on its own is a newborn’s umbilical hernia. Otherwise, surgery is required to repair the weakened tissue that’s allowing an organ to protrude outside its boundaries.

If your hernia is small and not causing significant symptoms, Dr. Wood may recommend monitoring it over time. Often, however, he recommends a laparoscopic surgical approach that requires only very small incisions and generally speeds healing. He specializes in all types of hernia repair, including complex abdominal wall hernias that require significant expertise and skill.

Schedule a visit with Dr. Wood today for a consultation regarding the surgical repair of your hernia. Call the office closest to you or book your visit online.