Emerge Better: Understanding Hernias in Women

When many of us hear the word “hernia” we think about a bulge that would be easy to identify.  This is a typical way that a hernia may appear in men.  But for women, hernias are much more difficult to identify, even for physicians.  Board Certified in General Surgery, Dr. Kathryn Baerman specializes in women’s health, and treats “hidden hernias” that are often misdiagnosed.

“I want to make women aware that if you have persistent groin pain, you may have a hernia that’s not appreciated that can be causing this,” says Dr. Baerman.  “These are much harder to diagnose in women, just due to the different anatomy.”  Dr. Baerman explains that in women, hernias are not easily spotted with an MRI and are commonly misdiagnosed, being treated for  Endometriosis Pain or Chronic Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Pain. Symptoms for inguinal hernias include chronic groin and pelvic pain as well as shooting pain throughout the groin

Dr. Baerman performs procedures that can be done in clinic to aid in diagnosis and forming a treatment plan.  Treatments are usually surgical, with nerve blocks to assist with management of symptoms.  “Once repaired, this can really improve the quality and alleviate a lot of pain and suffering for women,” says Dr. Baerman.

She shares a good article on Hidden Hernias from The New York Times.

Dr. Baerman is a General Surgeon treating patients in the greater triangle area.  With the training gained in her Surgical Oncology Research Fellowship, she specializes in benign and malignant breast disease.  Other surgical areas of expertise includes:

• Abdominal surgery – for diseases of the gallbladder, small bowel, appendix, and large bowel
• Endocrine surgery – for diseases of the adrenal, parathyroid and thyroid glands
• Hernia surgery – for inguinal, femoral, ventral/incisional, and other hernias

To see Dr. Baerman or any of our General Surgery Specialists, their direct number for scheduling is 919-281-1699.