Who can get a hernia?

While some children are born with hernias, most hernias occur in adults of any age. Men are much more likely to get hernias than women by a factor of 10 to 1.

Inguinal hernias occur in approximately 25% of men, while they are much less common in women. Umbilical hernias commonly occur in both men and women, specifically in women during or after pregnancy. Femoral hernias occur in both men and women, but are more commonly seen in women.

Hernias occur because of an inherent weakness of the abdominal wall. Incisional hernias occur because of a prior surgery in the area which can weaken the tissue in that area.


About Dr. Reinhorn & Dr. Fullington

Dr. Michael Reinhorn is a specialist in inguinal hernia and umbilical hernia. He started his practice as a general surgeon in 2001, and in 2012 he transitioned to focus on the care of hernia patients. In 2018, he co-founded Boston Hernia, an ambulatory surgery practice focused exclusively on hernia surgery. In 2020, Dr. Nora Fullington was recruited from her work as a general surgeon, where she performed hundreds of laparoscopic hernia repairs, to Boston Hernia where she was intensively trained by Dr. Reinhorn in the open preperitoneal and Shouldice techniques. Together with their physician assistant team, they perform approximately 800 hernia surgeries every year. Both surgeons offer a tailored approach for each patient, taking into account individual patient factors to decide if surgery is recommended or not, what type of repair (open, laparoscopic, mesh, non-mesh) is best, and what type of anesthesia is safest. At Boston Hernia, our focus is on each individual patient and continuously improving our own surgical techniques and outcomes. We do this by participating in various hernia societies, studying our own outcomes through a national database, and publishing our data to influence the care of hernia patients nationally and internationally. Boston Hernia is an affiliate practice of the Mass General Brigham system. In addition to operating at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, a Mass General Brigham Hospital, we offer care at ambulatory surgery centers in Waltham, MA and Derry, NH.