A hernia is a bulge of tissue that protrudes through an opening in your abdominal wall. It can cause pain, bloating and inflammation, as well as strangulation.

If left untreated, a hernia can become life threatening. That’s why Dr. Brian Harkins performs minimally invasive laparoscopic hernia repair with robot-assisted technology.

Inguinal Hernia

An inguinal hernia occurs when tissue from the intestine pushes through a weak spot in your abdomen. It may develop suddenly, after you strain to go to the bathroom, cough, or lift heavy weights, or it can occur over time as you age or grow overweight.

Most inguinal hernias don’t require surgery, but some adults and children with small hernias that don’t cause symptoms have surgery to prevent complications from developing later. If a hernia becomes incarcerated (strangulated), or if the blood supply to a part of your bowel is cut off, it can be life threatening.

Surgical Associates of Southern Texas offers houston robotic hernia surgery using the da Vinci Xi system, which reduces pain and recovery time, and helps patients get back to their normal activities more quickly than traditional hernia surgeries.

The operation is done under general anesthesia and involves a tiny incision with a camera called a laparoscope. After repair, your surgeon surrounds the hernia with mesh to strengthen the abdominal wall and to help prevent it from reoccurring.

Umbilical Hernia

A hernia occurs when weakened muscles, organs or tissues protrude through a hole in the abdominal wall. This can cause discomfort and pain, but also lead to life-threatening conditions such as bowel injury or strangulation.

The most common hernia type is the inguinal hernia, also known as groin hernia. This hernia occurs when intestines or fat protrude through a weakness in the abdominal wall near your groin.

This type of hernia is more common in men than women. It can develop any time during your life and may be caused by heavy strain or aging.


The hernia is usually not noticeable until you have symptoms, such as a bulge in your belly button or lower abdomen. But if left untreated, it can develop into an incarcerated hernia that contains fat or intestines.

Hiatal Hernia

A hernia develops when a portion of your intestine (bowel) or other organ pushes through a weakness in your abdominal wall. The bulge may cause mild to severe pain or pressure in the lower abdomen or groin area and a feeling of heaviness or tugging.

Hernias can be small, and some may not even have symptoms. But they usually require surgery to correct them and reduce their chances of causing health complications.

At Surgical Associates of Southern Texas, we offer robotic hernia surgery to ensure patients experience fewer pain and faster recovery times than with traditional surgeries. Our highly experienced surgeons are also leaders in the field of minimally invasive surgery, and they use cutting-edge medical technology to minimize post-operative side effects.

Abdominal Wall Hernia

A hernia is a protrusion of an organ or tissue through a weak spot in the abdominal wall. Occasionally, this can cause discomfort and a lump under your skin.

A hernia can develop at any area of weakness in the abdominal wall, including the site where your umbilical cord was attached as a fetus. Hernias may also form at previous surgery or at other sites due to aging, injury or heavy strain.

Surgical Associates of Southern Texas offers minimally invasive robotic hernia repair. This procedure allows the surgeon to insert a tube with a camera through a few small incisions.

The surgeon then places a polymer mesh between the muscle layers, allowing the hernia to heal without coming into contact with your organs. This procedure has lower recurrence rates than open hernia surgery and requires less pain medication. It’s also a better option for patients with larger hernias. Choosing the right type of surgery is critical to healing and recovery.