What are the Causes & Risk Factors of Hernia?
A hernia is a protrusion of an organ or tissue through an abnormal opening in the body. This can cause a painless lump in the abdomen/ groin or the pressure of tissue pushing its way through the weakened area can be the source of significant pain and discomfort. Usually Surgeons find it on a routine physical examination.
Hernias are usually caused by a combination of muscle weakness and strain.
Muscle weakness may be due to congenital defect, old age or after some surgery.
Increased pressure of the abdomen cavity such as in obesity, pregnancy, heavy weight lifting, straining during bowel movement or urination (constipation or enlarged prostrate), persistent coughing, sneezing.
What are some of the Symptoms of Hernia?
Small hernia may not be noticed by patients and often general surgeons find it during a routine physical check-up.
Often Hernia symptom is a bulge or lump on abdomen, groin or scrotum. The bulge is usually painless and is more obvious in the upright position and disappears in the lying position or with gentle pressure. There may be feeling of pressure, or minor discomfort in the abdomen, groin or scrotum while straining, coughing, sneezing or lifting weight. Hernia is dangerous if it gets trapped in the weak spot in the abdominal wall (obstructed Hernia) and blood supply cut off (strangulated Hernia). Strangulated hernia is an emergency requiring surgery. It usually causes severe pain, redness and tenderness.
How to Diagnose Hernia?
A surgeon through a simple physical examination usually diagnoses hernia. He can feel a hernia by placing a finger at the groin and asking the patient to cough (impulse on coughing).
A hernia that bulges out with abdominal pressure but returns inside the body when the pressure is gone or with gentle pressure from the outside is reducible hernia. A Hernia that remains outside is “irreducible” or incarcerated hernia. If bulging tissue loses blood flow it is strangulated hernia.
What are Common Types of Hernia?
In an inguinal hernia, the intestine or the bladder protrudes through the abdominal wall or into the inguinal canal in the groin. About 96% of all groin hernias are inguinal, and most occur in men because of a natural weakness in this area.
In an incisional hernia, the intestine pushes through the abdominal wall at the site of previous abdominal surgery. This type is most common in elderly or overweight people who are inactive after abdominal surgery.
A femoral hernia occurs when the intestine enters the canal carrying the femoral artery into the upper thigh. Femoral hernias are most common in women, especially those who are pregnant or obese.
In an umbilical hernia, part of the small intestine passes through the abdominal wall near the navel. Common in newborns, it also commonly afflicts obese women or those who have had many children.
A hiatal hernia happens when the upper stomach squeezes through the hiatus, an opening in the diaphragm through which the esophagus passes.
Hiatal hernias may be incidental finding in chest X-Ray or may present as heartburn, regurgitation, reflux, chest pain, difficulty swallowing or painful swallowing.
Hiatal hernias can be treated with medication and diets changes, but sometimes require surgery.
What is the Treatment of Abdominal Hernia? Is Surgery Must?
There is no medical treatment and Surgery is the only treatment option for abdominal hernia. It is better to undergo surgery when it is uncomplicated. The possible complications include obstruction or strangulation which may be life threatening.
Depending on the type & location of Hernia, your Hernia surgeon will decide the type of hernia repair surgery. The surgery involves pushing hernia content back inside and inserting a special strong ‘mesh’ for tension free hernia repair to cover the ‘defect’ and prevent the herniation. This surgery can be done by conventional surgery or Laparoscopically.
A person after a hernia surgery can live a healthy and active lifestyle without fear of complication of hernia.
What is Laparoscopic Hernia Repair?
Best hernia surgeons in Mumbai performs advance hernia repair by advance methods. Laparoscopic hernia surgery involves making tiny holes in the abdomen and inserting and fixing a specially made mesh through these small holes. This surgery is minimally invasive and very cosmetic. The post-operative pain is significantly less, hospital stay is short and recovery is fast
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