Dr. Pakula uses advanced robotic technology for the treatment and repair of inguinal (groin) hernias, femoral hernias, umbilical (belly button) hernias, abdominal hernias, hiatal hernias, epigastric hernias, Spigelian hernias, ventral and incisional hernias and parastomal hernias in men and women. She is also specializing in Complex Abdominal Wall Reconstruction.

Inguinal Hernias occur in the groin area on either side of the pubic bone. Femoral Hernias occur in the groin and upper thigh area. Ventral Hernias typically occur in the midline of the abdomen. Umbilical Hernias occur at the belly button. Incisional Hernias occur at the site of a previous surgical scar where the abdominal wall has become weak and a hole has developed. Parastomal Hernias are hernias that occur at the site of an ostomy. Recurrent Hernias have been fixed before but have come back in the same location. There are other rare hernias such as Lumbar or Flank Hernias, Spigelian Hernias, and Diaphragm Hernias to name a few. Any type of hernia can occur in both men or women.

Symptoms & Treatment

Hernias are opening in the abdomen that can allow intestine, fatty tissue to protrude through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles. This often leads to a bulge that can be seen or felt. Some hernias may not cause pain or other symptoms but can be found by your doctor on physical exam.

Complications of a Hernia

Pain - Most hernias enlarge over time and if not repaired surgically may put pressure on surrounding tissue and cause pain.

Incarcerated Hernia - When soft tissue or intestine becomes stuck in the hernia hole in the abdominal wall or groin, the bulge may not be able to be reduced or pushed back in. This can result in blockage of the intestines, severe pain, vomiting and inability to have a bowel movement.

Strangulated Hernia - This occurs when the intestine is stuck or incarcerated in the hernia and the blood flow gets cut off to the trapped part of the intestine. This can lead to the death of the intestine and can be life-threatening if not treated with surgery immediately.


There aren’t any medications, exercises or devices that will fix a hernia. Hernias do not go away without surgical repair and if left alone may lead to complications which can be life-threatening. Your doctor may recommend surgery before the hernia becomes too large or painful.

Hernias can be repaired either with a traditional open incision technique or with minimally invasive techniques.

Our minimally invasive laparoscopic or robotic procedures will allow you to return home the same day of surgery, allow for a faster recovery and return to work and other normal activities with decreased pain compared to open surgery.

Dr. Pakula teaches advanced robotic hernia repair techniques to surgeons around the country.

Dr. Pakula is based in Ventura and Los Angeles County with hospital affiliations at Adventist Health Simi Valley Hospital, Northridge Hospital and Medical Center, Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, and Los Robles Medical Center. Get in touch today for answers to your questions or to schedule an appointment.

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