Abdominal pain can be a distressing symptom, and one possible cause is a hernia. Understanding hernias and their various aspects is important for recognizing the signs, seeking appropriate treatment, and promoting overall well-being. In this blog, we will delve into the world of hernias, exploring their different types, symptoms, causes, and treatment options.
What is a Hernia?
A hernia refers to a condition where an organ or tissue pushes through a weak spot in the surrounding muscles or connective tissues. This can result in a visible bulge, often causing discomfort or pain.
Most hernias involve one of your abdominal organs pushing through one of the walls of your abdominal cavity while the most common types include inguinal, femoral, umbilical, hiatal, and incisional hernias.
What are the Different Types of Hernias?
The most common types of hernias are explained below.
- Inguinal Hernias
This happens in a weak point above the inguinal ligament, which is above the groin. Hernias of this kind are the most common. They mostly affect men. It is the most painful hernia
- Femoral Hernias
Femoral hernias occur below the inguinal ligament in the top portion of the thigh. They primarily affect women.
- Incisional Hernias
Incisional hernias occur in the scar tissue left behind from previous surgical wounds. Hernias are more probable there because the abdominal wall is weaker.
- Umbilical Hernias
Umbilical hernias originate at the navel, which is a weak spot in the abdominal wall. They most frequently affect infants and obese adults.
- Epigastric Hernias
Epigastric hernias occur when tissue pokes through a breach in the abdominal wall between the breastbone and the belly button.
- Perineal Hernia
A perineal hernia happens when internal organs or tissues emerge into the abdominal cavity through a weakening or gap in the pelvic floor. These hernias are not very common.
What are Hernia Symptoms in Both Men and Women?
Hernia symptoms may vary depending on the type and severity. For both men and women, the symptoms of Hernia seem to be almost the same but they would be little variation based on the location of the hernia pain.
Symptoms of Hernia
- Noticeable swelling or bulging in the affected area
- Discomfort or pain, especially during physical activities or lifting objects
- Aching or a burning sensation at the site of the hernia
- Feelings of pressure or weakness
- Nausea, vomiting, or constipation (in more severe cases)
If you experience any of the stated symptoms, it is always preferable to contact a Hernia surgeon for treatment. The type of hernia can be diagnosed based on the location of the pain.
Causes of Hernia
Several causes can contribute to the development of hernias. The main cause for hernia is typically a combination of muscle weakness and increased pressure on the affected area. Some common factors include:
- Aging and natural weakening of muscles
- Lifting heavy weights frequently or straining during bowel movements
- Chronic coughing or sneezing
- Pregnancy( repeated pregnancies) and childbirth
- Obesity or excessive weight gain
How is Hernia Diagnosed?
- Diagnosis of Hernia typically involves a combination of medical history assessment, physical examination, and some medical examinations.
- Initially, the doctor gathers information about the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and any previous surgeries or conditions that may contribute to the development of a hernia. Later physical examination will be done.
- During the physical examination, the doctor examines the affected area, looking for signs such as bulges, tenderness, or discomfort upon palpation. In some cases, additional diagnostic tests such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis or evaluate the extent of the hernia.
- These imaging techniques provide detailed images of the herniated area, aiding in accurate diagnosis and treatment planning. A thorough and systematic approach to hernia diagnosis ensures proper identification and allows the surgeon to provide appropriate treatment options for the patient.
Treatment for Different Types of Hernia
Surgery is the only treatment for hernias. And different types of hernias are treated by surgery only. It comprises either removing the hernia sac or pushing it back into the abdomen. The hernia surgery options will depend on things like the type and size of the hernia.
Surgery for Hernia is usually performed in 2 ways:
Open surgery For Hernia
In this, the operation is carried out through a larger cut where the hernia is. And surgeon will push the herniated tissue back into place and reinforce the barrier it pushed through with stitches or with surgical mesh.
Laparoscopic Surgery For Hernia
In minimally invasive surgery (also called keyhole surgery), several smaller cuts (2 or 3 ) are made. In laparoscopic surgery, the abdomen or abdominal wall is operated on by inserting surgical instruments and a fine tube with a camera attached to it (laparoscope) through the cuts. The camera allows the surgeon to view the inside of the abdomen on a screen. Laparoscopic surgery is an advanced and effective method for treating hernia.
If you ask can Hernia be treated without surgery? The answer is yes, Hernias don’t always have to be operated on. Surgery is not required if they are not creating problems and the risk of consequences is low. People who have an inguinal hernia, on the other hand, are usually advised to have surgery.
What Happens if a Hernia is Left Untreated?
Untreated hernias might result in extremely serious problems. These include
1. Incarceration: When a hernia becomes trapped and cannot be pushed back into place, it can cause severe pain and obstruct the blood supply to the trapped organ or tissue.
2. Strangulation: This occurs when the blood supply to the herniated organ or tissue is completely cut off. Strangulated hernias require immediate medical attention as they can be life-threatening.
Which Doctor to Consult for Hernia Treatment?
When it comes to seeking medical advice and treatment for hernias, a general surgeon is the most appropriate specialist to consult. General surgeons have specialized knowledge and experience in diagnosing and treating hernias. They are well-versed in the various surgical techniques and procedures used to repair hernias effectively.
Dr.S.N.Baser at Harsh Hospital & Maternity Home is a well-qualified Doctor for Hernia in Surat and has performed many laparoscopic surgeries for different types of hernias.
If you suspect you have a hernia, it is important to consult a Hernia Specialist promptly. At our multi-specialty hospital, our dedicated team of experienced hernia surgeons is ready to provide you with comprehensive care and guide you toward a safe and effective treatment plan.
Book an appointment now. Don’t delay seeking medical attention, as early intervention can prevent potential complications and ensure a smooth recovery.