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The Hernia Center at the University of Hawai‘i Department of Surgery

Welcome to the Hernia Center at the University of Hawai‘i Department of Surgery. Our surgeons specialize in all types of hernia repair using either an open technique or laparoscopic or minimally invasive approach.

It is estimated that 200,000 hernias are repaired in the United States each year. Usually, hernia surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and returning to normal activity is quicker with minimally invasive techniques. Each year, surgeons at University of Hawai’i perform many complex hernia repairs and our experts in this field, affording them expertise in both common and complex repairs. Our multidisciplinary group offers patients a comprehensive evaluation to determine the best surgical procedure to suit their need and to avoid complications or recurrence.

Our mission is to achieve excellence in clinical care by providing a patient-centered treatment plan, which includes comprehensive management through a multispecialty approach, and to achieve excellence in the advancement of education and research in hernia repair.

What is a Hernia?
A hernia is an abnormal bulge in the abdominal wall or groin area through a weakness in the muscular wall.

Types of Hernias
Inguinal (or groin) hernias are the most common. They occur more frequently in men than women. These hernias are classified as direct or indirect and are located where the skin crease at the top of the thigh joins the torso.

Femoral hernias occur below the inguinal crease near the mid-thigh. These are more common in women and often contain tissue that is not able to be reduced.

Umbilical hernias are often present from birth as a protruding belly button. These hernias occur at a naturally weak area of the abdominal wall and often require repair later in life or after pregnancy.

Incisional hernias can sometimes occur following abdominal surgeries. The damage to the abdominal wall weakens the muscle and allows for the formation of the hernia. These can often be complex and can occur multiple times. When these occur in the midline of the abdomen they are called ventral hernias.

Epigastric hernias occur between the rib cage and the umbilicus. These occur in areas of relative weakness and often contain fat.

Types of Repair
Hernias usually need to be fixed surgically to prevent intestinal damage and further complications. Hernia surgery may be performed by an open repair which requires a small incision over the herniated area or by laparoscopic or minimally invasive surgery. Benefits of laparoscopic hernia surgery include having a series of tiny incisions rather than one large incision, decreased postoperative pain, shorter recovery time and earlier resumption of daily activities. Your surgeon will determine the best method of repair for your individual condition.

Patient Benefits
Our surgeons’ extensive experience with initial, complex and recurrent hernias offers the patient a variety of surgical options from expert surgeons. We also offer a multidisciplinary approach to patient care with general, plastic and trauma surgeons.

Frequently Asked Questions
What causes a hernia?
A hernia occurs when the inside layers of the abdominal wall weaken then bulge or tear. The inner lining of the abdomen pushes through the weakened area to form a balloon-like sac. This can cause a loop of intestine or abdominal tissue to slip into the sac, causing pain and other potentially serious health problems.

How do I know if I have a hernia?
Symptoms may include a noticeable protrusion in the groin area or abdomen, a feeling pain while lifting, an aching sensation, and/or a vague feeling of fullness

How is a hernia treated?
If a hernia causes no symptoms, you and your physician may choose to wait to see if any changes occur but most often surgery is required.
How long does surgery usually take?
Between one to two hours.

How soon can I return to work?
It depends on what type of work you do and which type of surgery you have. Usually, open repair patients may go back to office work within 1 week depending on how well you are feeling. Similarly, with laparoscopic repair, you may go back to office work within a few days. If heavy lifting is required (greater than 20 lbs.), patients who have had an open repair patients may have restricted activity for 4 to 6 weeks whereas patients who have had a laparoscopic repair usually can begin heavy lifting in 2 weeks.

Will my hernia reoccur?
Approximately 5 to 10% of hernias are estimated to recur depending on the type.

The Queens Medical Center
1329 Lusitana St, Suite 703
Honolulu, HI 96813


Kenric Murayama, MD FACS.
Professor of Surgery
Chairman of Surgery
Program Director, General Surgery
University of Hawai‘i John A. Burns School of Medicine
Specializes in: Abdominal and Inguinal hernias including complex abdominal wall reconstruction

Dean Mikami, MD FACS.
Associate Professor of Surgery
Division Chief, General Surgery
University of Hawai‘i John A. Burns School of Medicine
Medical Director, Hernia Center
Specializes in: Abdominal and Inguinal hernias including complex abdominal wall reconstruction

Contact Us
To make an appointment, please call: 808-439-8423

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