Introduction to Hernia


A hernia occurs when an organ pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue that holds it in place. E.g, the intestines may break through a weakened area in the abdominal wall. Hernias are most common in the abdomen, but they can also appear in the upper thigh, belly button, and groin areas.


Common Hernia Types


Inguinal Hernia


Inguinal hernias are the most common type of hernia. They make up about 70 percent of all hernias, These hernias occur when the intestines push through a weak spot or tear in the lower abdominal wall, often in the inguinal canal.The inguinal canal is found in your groin. In men, it is the area where the spermatic cord passes from the abdomen to the scrotum. This cord holds up the testicles. In women, the inguinal canal contains a ligament that helps hold the uterus in place.This type of hernia is more common in men than in women. This is because a man's testicles descend through the inguinal canal shortly after birth, and the canal is supposed to close almost completely behind them. Sometimes, the canal does not close properly and leaves a weakened area prone to hernias.


Ventral Hernia


Which is broad terminology used for all abdominal hernias. Which includes paraumbillical, epigastric, incisional, lumbar type of hernias. These type of hernia occur through the weakness of defect in abdominal wall, Your intestines may push through these defects, treatment for this kind of hernias are only surgical repair.




What Causes a Hernia?


Hernias are caused by a combination of muscle weakness and strain. Depending on its cause, a hernia can develop quickly or over a long period of time. Common causes of muscle weakness include:


  • Failure of the abdominal wall to close properly in the womb, which is a congenital defect age
  • Chronic coughing
  • Damage from injury or surgery


Factors that strain your body and may cause a hernia, especially if your muscles are weak, include:


  • Pregnant, which puts pressure on your abdomen
  • Constipated, which causes you to strain when having a bowel movement
  • Heavy weight lifting
  • Fluid in the abdomen, or ascites
  • Suddenly gaining weight
  • Persistent coughing or sneezing




Am I at Risk for a Hernia?


The factors that increase your risk of developing a hernia include:


  • A personal or family history of hernias
  • Overweight or obese
  • A chronic cough
  • Chronic constipation
  • Smoking, which can trigger a chronic cough


Conditions such as cystic fibrosis can also indirectly increase your risk of developing a hernia. Cystic fibrosis impairs the function of the lungs, causing a chronic cough.


What Are the Symptoms of a Hernia?


The most common symptom of a hernia is a bulge or lump in the affected area. In the case of an inguinal hernia, you may notice a lump on either side of your pubic bone where your groin and thigh meet. You're more likely to feel your hernia through touch when you're standing up. Other common symptoms of an inguinal hernia include:


  • Pain or discomfort in the affected area (usually the lower abdomen), especially when bending over, coughing, or lifting
  • Weakness, pressure, or a feeling of heaviness in the abdomen
  • Burning, gurgling, or aching sensation at the site of the bulge


In some cases, hernias have no symptoms. You may not know you have a hernia unless it shows up during a routine physical or a medical exam for an unrelated problem.




How Is a Hernia Diagnosed?


Inguinal or incisional hernias are usually diagnosed through a physical examination. Your doctor may feel for a bulge in your abdomen or groin that gets larger when you stand, cough, or strain.




Treatment Options for a Hernia
Only treatment option for hernia is surgical repair.


Surgery - Hernia Repair Surgery in India


If your hernia is growing larger or causing pain, your doctor may decide that it's best to operate. Basic in hernia surgery is that repair of weakened tissue and further strengthening of it by adding synthetic Prolene mesh in repair.Hernias can be repaired with either open or laparoscopic surgery.


Laparoscopic surgery uses a tiny camera and miniaturized surgical equipment to repair the hernia using only a few small incisions. Laparoscopic surgery is less damaging to the surrounding tissue. Open surgery requires a longer recovery process. You may be unable to move around normally for up to 2 weeks. Laparoscopic surgery has a much shorter recovery time. In addition, not all hernias are suitable for laparoscopic repair, including those in which a portion of your intestines has moved down into the scrotum.




Potential Complications of a Hernia If left untreated


  • Your hernia may grow and become more painful.
  • A portion of your intestine could become trapped in the abdominal wall. This can obstruct your bowel, causing severe pain, nausea, and constipation.
  • An untreated hernia can also put too much pressure on nearby tissues, which can cause swelling and pain in the surrounding area.
  • If the trapped section of your intestines doesn't get enough blood flow, strangulation occurs. This can cause the intestinal tissue to become infected or die. A strangulated hernia is life-threatening and requires immediate medical care.
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