Suite 163, Milnerton Medi-Clinic, Racecourse Road,
Milnerton, Cape Town, 7441, South Africa
+27 (0)21 551 7134
+27 (0)21 551 6342
WE SPECIALISE IN THE REPAIR OF ALL HERNIAS
The CAPE TOWN HERNIA CLINIC is a clinic that has a special
interest in the repair of all hernias. It is located at the
Milnerton Medi-Clinic, in the coastal suburb of Milnerton,
only 10km from the centre of Cape Town.
The clinic offers a one-stop hernia repair service for groin
hernias on an out patients/day case basis. This modern hospital
has state of the art theatres and equipment. It is easily
accessible and every effort is made to make our patient's
stay as trouble free and convenient as possible.
INFORMATION ABOUT HERNIAS
WHAT IS A HERNIA?
A hernia is a protrusion of an organ through a weakness in
the muscular wall of the cavity in which the organ is contained.
This weakness may be present at birth (congenital) or develop
as an age related event in later life. It may also occur at
the site of a scar from a previous operation (incisional hernia).
WHERE DO HERNIAS OCCUR?
Most hernias occur in the abdominal cavity. The most common
GROIN HERNIAS (INGUINAL OR FEMORAL) and UMBILICAL HERNIAS
Other less common hernias are VENTRAL HERNIAS, INCISIONAL
HERNIAS, EPIGASTRIC HERNIAS, STOMAL HERNIAS, HIATAL HERNIAS
HOW DO HERNIAS PRESENT?
A bulge in the abdominal wall or groin area. This typically
appears or enlarges on standing up, coughing, or straining
the abdominal muscles. Occasionally the hernia is accompanied
by sharp or dull pain while having a bowel action or passing
urine and may become worse on prolonged standing.
A typical abdominal incisional hernia.
WHAT CAN HAPPEN IF I DON'T HAVE MY HERNIA TREATED?
The problem with a hernia is not the "bulge" it
produces, but what may happen to the hernia. The long term
progression of a hernia is that it will become larger with
the passage of time. The danger is that the organ protruding
through the hole in the abdominal wall may become pinched
off, and the blood supply of that piece of tissue compromised.
This rapidly leads to the death of that tissue (strangulation)
and the need for urgent (and unnecessary) dangerous surgery.
Hernias cannot be treated with medication and the only cure
TYPES OF SURGERY FOR GROIN HERNIAS.
For years all hernias were repaired by an incision over the
swelling, through which the tissues were pulled together,
or darned. These repairs subjected the already weak tissues
to further tension, and not surprisingly, had an up to 20%
recurrence rate often associated with chronic pain.
The first significant advance in hernia repair was the insertion
of a nylon patch (Lichtenstein technique) which resulted in
a tension-free repair, and with a much lower recurrence rate.
With the advent of "keyhole surgery" in the early
1990's, it became clear that it was possible to insert a large
patch behind the defect in the abdominal wall, through a smaller
Each of the "tension-free" repairs above has a
much lower recurrence rate than the earlier operations.
|A hernia defect (top middle of photo), seen
the abdominal cavity
|Viewing of surgery on monitor used for
WHAT OPERATION SHOULD I HAVE?
A review of Hernia Clinics world-wide will show that most
of these centres will perform only one type of repair, even
though the various operations each offer different benefits
to different patients. For this reason, it is the policy of
the Cape Town Hernia Clinic that every patient should be individually
assessed and the best type of operation, best suited to that
individual's needs, be offered. This choice ranges from open
surgery, under local anaesthetic, to laparoscopic "keyhole"
repair, under general anaesthetic.
If you need any further information or suspect that you might have
a hernia, please contact us today at the following details:
Tel: +27 (0)21 551 7134
Fax: +27 (0)21 551 6342