What is Hernia?
A hernia is a bulge formation in the abdomen, groin, or upper thigh regions where the organs or tissues are pushed out. It occurs due to a hole in the muscular wall of the abdomen that keeps the organs in their place.
The position and type of hernia provide information on why the hernia has been caused. Usually, abdominal surgery and older age increases the risk of hernia.
Types of Hernia
There are 5 types of hernia, based on their location and reason of origin:
- Inguinal Hernia: Inguinal hernia is formed in one or both sides of the groin or scrotum. It is common in men. The presence of weak areas of the groin near the spermatic cord causes it indirectly. Straining of weak tissues due to strenuous exercises is a direct cause for it.
- Hiatal Hernia: When the stomach or oesophagus slide up into the chest through the diaphragm, it causes hiatal hernia. It is an of acid reflux or heartburn. It can lead to the hernia being strangulated, cutting off blood supply to the tissues. It occurs when previously cured hernias recur.
- Umbilical Hernia: It occurs in the umbilicus or the navel, during or after pregnancy.
- Femoral Hernia: Weakness near the femoral artery leads to femoral hernia in women in the upper thigh.
- Incisional Hernia: Previous surgeries in the abdomen put a person at risk of incisional hernia. It is caused as weakened areas of the abdominal wall are pushed by the intestine.
- Pain on coughing, sneezing, or lifting objects
- Pain or burning sensation on the lump
- Lump in the groin or abdominal region
- Difficulty swallowing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Constipation or obstructed bowel movement
- Acid reflux combined with chest pain
- Incarceration or tissue entrapment when the hernia is not repaired
- Strangulation of hernia i.e. cutting off blood supply to tissues due to the hernia being caused by the stomach being pushed into the chest.
A physical examination where the patient is asked to cough confirms the presence or absence of inguinal or incisional hernia. This bulge usually gets bigger as the person stands, coughs, or strains the muscles.
X-ray showing the images of the digestive tract helps recognize the hernia as well, so can by doing an endoscopy exam.
CT scans and MRIs may also be suggested by the doctors. Abdominal pain is often also caused as a result of inflammation of the appendix, due to which it is important to know the exact cause of the pain. The probability of being asked to get an ultrasound done is higher for a woman, to know whether there are any ovarian cysts or fibroids present.
Lifestyle changes, medication, or surgery are suggested to treat the hernia. While lifestyle changes and medication can only help reduce the pain and discomfort associated with a hernia, it is hernia surgery that can remove the hernia and repair it, hence curing the hernia.
The surgeries for hernia are either open hernia surgery or laparoscopic surgery. It can be delayed for a while but if the hernia keeps growing in size, it will lead to increasing pains. Among the 5 types of hernias, abdominal wall hernias are considered to be the most common type. Even though there are various medications available to treat a hernia only a surgery can help cure it.
At Pristyn Care, every patient is ensured to get the best treatment possible. The patient is taken special care of and offered personalized treatment. Below mentioned are the two most recommended treatments that can help fix all types of hernia.
- Laparoscopic or laser treatment for Hernia Repair
The laparoscopic technique for hernia repair involves burning or charring of the herniated organs and cutting the blood supply to the area. The surgeon makes few tiny small incisions on the site, then a laparoscope is inserted through one of the openings and laser energy is passed on to the herniated tissues in a precise manner. The surgeon then stitches the incision after placing a mesh to secure the hernia repair
- The technique involves less tissue invasion
- Reduced risk of wound infection
- Low risk of recurrence
- No dietary or lifestyle modification
- It’s a costly procedure, but insurance can be availed
- Open Approach for Hernia Repair
Open Hernia repair has been in practice even before the laparoscopic technique. The method involves an open approach where the surgeon makes a large cut near the hernia site, assessess and makes space into the peritoneal cavity and then repairs the hernia. In the last step, your surgeon will palace a mesh to secure and reinforce the hernia, to prevent any chances of recurrence.
- Lower chances of recurrence
- Less postoperative pain
- Risk of complications is low
- Improved quality of life for longer periods
- Scar tissue may result in a part of open repair hernia surgery.
Surgery can provide you with a cure for your hernia problem, but the possibility of hernias coming back can recur and must not be disregarded. If a hernia is left untreated, it will grow in size, form a larger bulge and cause consistent pain and discomfort. Medication can help treat the pain but ultimately surgery will be required to remove the hernia. Visit your doctor immediately if you notice symptoms and do not leave your hernia unattended.