Abdominal wall defects and complex hernias are serious issues that can cause discomfort and additional health complications. Treatment is usually abdominal wall reconstruction surgery to repair the opening in the muscle wall.

Types of Hernias

Inguinal (groin) hernias are the most common. They occur more frequently in men than women 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 pushed back in.

Paraesophageal/Hiatal hernias develop when your stomach slides up and out of your abdominal cavity into the chest cavity. Common symptoms of this type of hernia includes heartburn, reflux and/or chest pain.

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 belly button. These occur in areas of relative weakness and often contain fat. 

Research that leads to faster recovery


The treatment capabilities at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center range from simple to complex hernias and abdominal wall reconstruction. Our internationally renowned doctors are the ones who write the papers and conduct the leading research. Current research includes trials to determine which are the best abdominal meshes and how they should be applied. The goal of these and other studies is to identify methods that will enhance patient recovery.

A patient-centered approach

Patients get personalized care at OSU Wexner Medical Center through our multidisciplinary, comprehensive hernia clinic. This includes the added benefit of having multiple medical departments bring their various expertise and experience right to your bedside for optimized care and better outcomes. Plastic surgeons work with general surgeons to provide consolidated care in one place. This approach enables us to solve complex problems that often can’t be solved at other institutions. It also allows:

  • Immediate access to your records
  • Convenient access to various doctors in one visit
  • Continual follow-up
  • Exceptional care

Contact us today for more information or to schedule a consultation with a specialist.


Ohio State's Comprehensive Hernia Center offers leading treatments for abdominal wall defects and complex hernias

A hernia exists when part of an internal organ or tissue bulges through a weak area of muscle, usually in the abdomen. Complex hernias are complicated by issues including size and location, risk factors and infection. Often, these hernias occur as a result of:

  • Cancer
  • Infection
  • Prior abdominal surgery
  • Trauma
  • Weak abdominal muscles
What to expect

What to expect

Your surgeon isn’t only there for you during treatment. He or she is with you every step of the way – before, during and after.

A comprehensive solution for complex hernias

Jeffrey E. Janis, MD, FACS, offers insights on the unique approach that makes all the difference for complex hernia patients. Learn how general surgeons and plastic surgeons partner, using advanced techniques and technologies to solve both simple and complex problems. Hear about how they apply an individualized approach that focuses on the patient.
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