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Hernia Awareness Month reminds us: you don’t need to live with the discomfort

Date: 06/17/2019

It is estimated that five percent of the population in the United States suffers from some kind of hernia, but far Daniel Hetherman, MDfewer seek medical attention for the condition. As Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center observes National Hernia Awareness Month, we would like people to know: you don’t need to live with the pain and discomfort caused by a hernia.

“Some patients delay seeking treatment because they’re embarrassed, or just fearful of facing surgery,” says Daniel Hetherman, MD, general surgeon, Northern Light Surgery. “With minimally-invasive technology available today, we can easily treat this very common condition and most patients typically recover fully within a few weeks, returning to their normal, everyday routines,” he adds.

Over the past nine months, Dr Hetherman, a leader in hernia repair, has completed more robotically-assisted inguinal hernia procedures than any other physician in all of New England.

A hernia happens when there is a weakness in the wall of the area where it occurs. The most common types of hernia are:

  • Inguinal hernia which occurs in the groin near the opening of the inguinal canal, and it may grow larger over time;
  • Umbilical hernia is a weakness that forms in the abdominal wall through and around the belly button. Most people with this hernia first notice discomfort or a belly button bulge.
  • Incisional hernia is a protrusion of tissue at the site of a healing surgical scar.

Thanks to modern technology, minimally invasive techniques are now available to treat hernias, including robotic surgery. Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is the only hospital north of Portland to offer robotic surgery for the treatment of hernias.

To learn more about hernias and the minimally invasive treatment options available, visit