Hernia Surgery Specialist

Laparoscopic Surgery NW

Laparoscopic Surgery & General Surgeon located in Tacoma, WA

Hernias affect men and women of all ages and often result from a strain on the abdominal wall. Surgery is the only effective method of treatment for a hernia. Fortunately, board-certified general and laparoscopic surgeon, James Rifenbery, MD, FACS, has extensive experience with every kind of hernia surgery. His practice, Laparoscopic Surgery NW in Tacoma, Washington, is currently seeking designation as a Regional Hernia, Abdominal Wall Reconstruction Site of Excellence. To schedule an evaluation with a skilled and experienced surgeon to discuss your options, contact the office by phone or request an appointment online today.

Hernia Surgery

What is a hernia?

A hernia is a tear, or hole, in the lining of your abdominal wall that allows the tissue inside the abdomen to protrude. Hernias can occur in any part of the abdomen and may cause a noticeable bulge, as well as pain and discomfort.

What are the types of hernias?

Hernias are classified based on the area of the body they occur. Common types include:

Inguinal hernias

Inguinal hernias are found in the groin and are the most common type of hernia. There are several inguinal variations, including femoral hernias, direct hernias, and indirect hernias. 

Sports hernias

Sports hernias refer to hernias that tear the groin tissue and cause significant pain, but without bulging. Athletes and people who engage in heavy lifting are at greatest risk of developing sports hernias. 

Ventral hernias

Hernias that occur in the abdominal wall are collectively referred to as ventral hernias. These include umbilical hernias, incisional hernias, lumbar hernias, and obturator hernias. 

Do I need hernia surgery?

Hernias are repaired electively at your convenience. However, hernias don’t improve with time. Additionally, as long as you have a hernia, you’re at risk of strangulation of your intestines, which requires emergency medical care.

How is hernia surgery conducted?

Hernia surgery with Dr. Rifenbery at Laparoscopic Surgery NW is an outpatient procedure. Dr. Rifenbery uses many techniques to perform hernia surgery, including:

Laparoscopic repair

Laparoscopic repair is the most common procedure Dr. Rifenbery used for hernia repair. During the minimally invasive procedure, Dr. Rifenbery uses a laparoscope, which is a thin surgical camera that allows him to see the inside of your abdomen without the need for a large incision. He makes additional small incisions for his surgical instruments and places a patch of mesh over the weakened abdominal wall and sutures or staples it into place. 

Abdominal wall reconstruction/component separation repair

Abdominal wall reconstruction/component separation repair is an open surgical procedure used for complicated ventral or incisional hernias. During this procedure, Dr. Rifenbery may remove old mesh and repair bowel problems, such as a fistula. He then places a biologic or synthetic mesh to reinforce the abdominal wall at the site of the herniation and sutures it into place.

Robotic surgery

Robotic surgery is the most advanced surgical technique available for hernia repair. Dr. Rifenbery uses the da Vinci® surgical system, which allows him to perform your surgery using small surgical instruments attached to robotic arms he controls from a special console. Robotic surgery increases Dr. Rifenbery’s surgical precision, which may result in a shorter recovery and less scarring.


For expert surgical care from the most experienced surgeon in the area, contact Laparoscopic Surgery NW by phone or request an appointment online today. 

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